A blog by Nikki Dudley about the gaps in everyday life...


Friday, 5 December 2014

Prison book ban ruled unlawful by High Court

I'm very happy to hear that prisoners will still be able to receive books in parcels.

Here is the BBC story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30344867

I think books have a real ability to teach and enlighten, not only entertain, and not allowing prisoners and their families to share this priviledge seemed ridiculous to me. As Philip Pullman said, "The ban on sending prisoners books seemed to me strikingly unjust and inhumane. Reading should be a right not a privilege to be withheld or allowed graciously by Her Majesty's government, or anyone else."

In Brazil, some inmates were even offered a "Redemption through Reading" programme which allowed inmates to cut four days off their sentence for every book they read. The maximum they could get off in a year was 48 days and they were required to write an essay on the books, which were judged by a panel. Interesting idea. Could reading programmes like this be used in other countries and certain prison settings or is that a step too far?


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