Friday, September 28, 2007

Federal Bureau of Prisons Changes Its Mind on Library Purging: Prison Fellowship Relieved

The announcement that the Federal Bureau of Prisons was reversing its decision to purge prison libraries of religious materials was welcomed by Prison Fellowship.

"We applaud the Bureau of Prisons for listening to the concerns of a diversity of faith communities and returning those resources removed from chapel library shelves," said Prison Fellowship President and former Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley [shown at left]. "We appreciate the Bureau’s commitment to keeping the small number of materials that incite violence out of prison chapel libraries. By returning to the common-sense approach of getting rid of only those materials that incite violence, they ensure that prisoners have access to a wide range of quality religious works that will help them become productive members of society when they are released back to our communities."

Prison Fellowship has recently worked closely with the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Prisons and other faith-based communities to address these issues.

"It took years for chaplains, local churches and other religious organizations to build up the holdings of many prison chapel libraries," Earley added. "It’s great to see that these works will now be restored for prisoners’ daily use."

Here's the full press release from Prison Fellowship.