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Article re PLN suit against CCA for book censorship at Arizona prison

Associated Press, Jan. 1, 2009. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AZ_PRISO...
Article re PLN suit against CCA for book censorship at Arizona prison - Associated Press 2009

September 2, 2009

Associated Press

Suit says Ariz. prison denied inmates books

A lawsuit filed Wednesday accuses the Corrections Corporation of America and an Arizona prison of denying inmates some books.

Prison Legal News, a nonprofit criminal-justice publication, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the Nashville, Tenn., company and various officials at the Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Ariz., halfway between Phoenix and Tucson.

The Seattle-based publication also publishes, sells and distributes books to about 7,000 prisoners around the world. The nonprofit accuses prison officials of prohibiting at least six Saguaro prisoners from receiving books in the last two years.

Calls to Saguaro warden Todd Thomas and Corrections Corporation of America were not returned Wednesday.

When refusing Prison Legal books to inmates, prison officials gave them notices saying that the company was not an approved vendor and that their books would "create a serious danger to the security of the facility," according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says that the prison only allowed inmates to get their books from Barnes & Noble, and when that company didn't have a certain publication, they could use amazon.com.

The lawsuit says Corrections Corporation of America and prison officials are violating Prison Legal's First and 14th Amendment rights. The publisher wants the prison to be ordered to pay unspecified damages and allow inmates to get Prison Legal books.

[Note: Minor correction made by PLN staff]