Prisoners say jail limiting book options


This Story begs the question, Does being in Jail mean you can\'t read what you want?
In The Arkansas Benton County Jail, apparently it does. It seems the Ministry is now choosing the books prisoners can read, and has removed everything except \"volumes with religious themes and \"spiritually uplifting little novelettes\".

\"\"I think this is a violation of our constitutional rights,\" said Ms. Marin, who is being held on suspicion of misdemeanor failure to pay fines and restitution and driving with a suspended driver\'s license. \"I do not believe they can let the clergy tell us what we can and cannot read.\"Chaplain John Lightsey of the ministry board said there is no effort to maintain only religious themes. He denied that biographies, histories, suspense and mystery novels are unavailable.

\"We don\'t want them getting books with violent themes or sexual and sensual material that might stimulate the inmates in those directions,\" Mr. Lightsey said. \"Supplying that sort of material to people who cannot handle the discipline of their own lives is like handing a book of matches to an 8-year-old.\"

Sheriff Andy Lee said he has little sympathy for the prisoners\'complaint. \"My suggestion to them is to get themselves out of jail,\" he said.

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