CT Department of Corrections to Review Prison Library Offerings

Residents of Connecticut will not soon forget the brutal home invasion murders that took place in Cheshire in 2007. Now the state has learned that the convicted murderer, Steven Hayes, read books in prison depicting violent murders and the burning of victims.

From the ABC-TV affiliate: The new rules for Connecticut's prison libraries will be in place around July 1. Leo Arnone told the legislature's Judiciary Committee on Monday that committees in each prison will come up with policies for approving books. The Department of Correction receives most of its books from donations.

State Sen. John Kissel proposed a bill requiring DOC to review the federal rules. "I think most people's common sense view on this issue is that violent inmates should not have access to books that graphically depict violence against people, especially women," said State Sen. John Kissel.

Kissel said most of the book Hayes read had graphic details about strangulation, rape and murder. Many of the books were donated and the prison systems needs to review the books and decide which may not be suitable. The reading list includes David Baldacci's "Split Second, Greg Iles'"Mortal Fear" and "First To Die" by James Patterson.

David McGuirea with the ACLU believes this is censorship and is skeptical about who decides what books are OK and which aren’t.
"If a prison has a legitimate safety and security reason, they can prevent someone from reading about escaping from prison or building a bomb, .but a well-respected book with murder plot should not be censored by the DOC," he said.

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