On November 13, 2019, Lauren Castle wrote this article for the Arizona Republic”

“Arizona prisons are over-censoring inmates’ reading materials, judge rules

Mail clerks in Arizona prisons violated the rights of inmates by blocking access to what they deemed as “sexually explicit material” over the years, a federal judge has ruled.

Banned items included issues of National Geographic, Businessweek and The Economist.

Prison Legal News, a national publication that covers the criminal justice system, filed the lawsuit against the Arizona Department of Corrections in 2015 after the department refused to deliver certain issues to inmates.

It alleged inmates’ First Amendment rights were being violated.

On Wednesday, Judge Roslyn Silver ordered the department to fix its policy in order “to establish bright-line rules that narrowly define” what content is not allowed.

According to a 2017 report by The Arizona Republic, mail clerks use their own discretion when deciding what is against policies. Silver wants the department’s new policy to limit staff’s discretion. 

The department must inform mail room staff of best practices and fix their policy within 60 days. 

“The department is reviewing the court’s order with its attorneys and will be responding as directed by Judge Silver,” Arizona Department of Corrections spokesman Bill Lamoreaux said in a statement. “

Link to article (may not work, but it’s worth a try)
https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2019/11/13/judge-says-arizona-prison-censorship-rule-sexually-explicit-violates-constitution-first-amendment/4180321002/

You can find additional information about the suit and judgment here: https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2019/nov/6/arizona-court-grants-partial-summary-judgment-pln-censorship-suit/

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