Florida Prison System bans more than 20,000 books

Published: Aug. 12, 2019 at 4:23 PM CDT
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The Florida Prison system has banned more than 20,000 book titles.

Some are banned because of extreme content, others because of certain advertising.

But one book titled “How to Get out of Prison Early” is also on the forbidden list. Author Reggie Garcia was told its because the book names two inmates specifically. He says the ban is unnecessary.

Garcia said, “I think, and I don’t say this as a negative, but I think it’s a mid level committee of some librarians and others that aren’t lawyers, and given the first amendment, and I would think we would want to provide information if for nothing else they’ve got all the idle time to entertain inmates, inform them, let them know some things they can do when they get out and train them so they don’t commit new crimes when they get out.”

Garcia says he has asked the Department of Corrections to reconsider the decision to ban his book.

The Florida Department of Corrections released a statement saying, "The Literature Review Committee, which meets every two weeks, works under guidelines outlined in Florida Administrative Code 33-501.401 - Admissible Reading Material. It states inmates can '“receive and possess publications…unless the publication is found to be detrimental to the security, order or disciplinary or rehabilitative interests of any institution of the department…or when it is determined that the publication might facilitate criminal activity.”'

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