Friday, September 21, 2007

Censored Religious Books in Prisons

According to the New York Times, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons has removed all religious reading material except for a short list of approved items for each religious affiliation. The list of Catholic materials is here. Fr. Giussani's books are not included, although The Catechism of the Catholic Church, St. Therese of Lisieux's Story of a Soul and The Imitation of Christ are on the list of about 180 books cleared for Catholic prisoners.
Spokesmen for the Bureau of Prisons said it was not reconsidering its policy. The bureau said it was prompted to act by a report in 2004 from the inspector general of the Department of Justice, which mentioned that since most prisons did not catalog their library materials, radical books that incite violence and hatred could infiltrate the shelves.

Initially, the bureau set out to take an inventory of every book and item in its chapel libraries. When the list grew to the tens of thousands, the bureau decided instead to generate lists of acceptable books and materials — about 150 items for each of 20 religions or religious categories. It calls that plan the Standardized Chapel Library Project.

Prison chaplains were instructed in the spring to remove everything not on the lists, and put it in storage. The bureau said it planned to issue additions to the lists once a year.

1 comment:

Freder1ck said...

NT Wright and CS Lewis aren't Catholic. Shouldn't they be on the Protestant list?

Of course, this move is idiocy. The common sense solution would be to specifically ban those books which advocate terrorism...