Battle Continues for Washington to Lift Ban on Sending Books to Inmates

Book banning has been a constant battle between two sides who feel differently about particular books being read. Most of the time, it’s about children’s reading, but more recently the topic of banning books has gone to our prisons.


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Image via Texas Jail Project


Publishers Weekly has the scoop on the recent prison book ban updates from Washington, but here’s the gist of what’s going on.

The Washington Department of Corrections (Washington DOC) had up until now set a ban on sending books to prison inmates. After a great deal of backlash and criticism against it, the Washington DOC has partially lifted the ban. Not happy with the partial lift, non-profit advocacy group for inmates Books To Prisoners Seattle (BTP Seattle) sent out representatives to meet with the WDOC and speak with them about lifting the ban entirely.


Michelle Dillon, Program Coordinator at Books To Prison Seattle. | Image via BTP Seattle


“We’re still working with the Washington DOC to clarify the terms of new acceptance policies but are optimistic for resolution and improved lines of communication in the future,” Michelle Dillon, a volunteer and board member of BTP Seattle, told [Publishers Weekly].


Apparently this is not the first time that Washington has tried to ban prison books.


Washington’s restriction on prison book donations is the latest attempt to prohibit prison inmates from receiving free books from support groups or from individuals. Similar attempts to ban sending books to prisoners in New York and New Jersey were revoked after the resulting public outcry.


The battle over the ban continues, but the support to fight against it has grown stronger. Not only did BTP Seattle create a petition that now has over 15,000 signatures, but there are even several Legislators in Washington who have raised criticism against the ban.


With the way things are looking it appears as though a win for free prison books is in the works.



Featured Image via The Daily Beast