A lot of pressure has been brought to bare upon the Federal Bureau of Prisons (USA) and all the ‘religious’ books that were taken out of the prison libraries recently are going to be returned.

Initially the Bureau was concerned about certain religious books, mostly Muslim, which encouraged violence and radical behavior. Rather than just dealing with the offending books, the authorities decided to address the problem by eliminating all religious books which were not on a prescribed list prepared by a number of unnamed committee members. The choices seemed rather arbitrary and many excellent books ended up being taken out. I posted on this issue a couple of weeks ago.

The revised plan was declared publicly in a email message by bureau spokeswoman Judi Simon Garrett:

“In response to concerns expressed by members of several religious communities, the Bureau of Prisons has decided to alter its planned course of action with respect to the Chapel Library Project.”

“The bureau will begin immediately to return to chapel libraries materials that were removed in June 2007, with the exception of any publications that have been found to be inappropriate, such as material that could be radicalizing or incite violence. The review of all materials in chapel libraries will be completed by the end of January 2008.”

Apparently, any future list will contain only those books that are deemed ‘inappropriate’, that incite violence. It will be those books which will be eliminated, which is the way it should have been in the first place. 

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