“50 Shades of Grey” is permitted reading in Pennsylvania state prisons.
“Angel Song – A Glorious Collection of Heavenly Bodies,” described as “a collection of fantasy art, focused around angels” and “erotic in nature,” is not.
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections keeps a database of books that have been sent to inmates at all state prisons. The books are evaluated and either permitted to go through to the inmate, or denied.
Use the search box to see if a particular book is banned or permitted. Keep the space blank and hit search to see the complete list.
If a book is denied, the inmate and publisher have one chance to appeal. That decision is final and added to the database.
More than 200 books are currently on the list of banned books.
As the banned titles indicate, there is no one-size-fits-all ruling for acceptance. Publications that advocate violence, are racially inflammatory or provide help in orchestrating escapes are generally denied.
Inmates are allowed to receive publications from friends or family, or order them online, if they come directly from publishers or bookstores to a secure processing center. Staff at the center then screens the books.
This is a revision to a policy the DOC enacted in September 2018 in an effort to curb drug smuggling into prisons, according to an article at inquirer.com. Books were entering the prisons with “particular paper soaked in synthetic cannabinoids, also known as K2,” the article says.
Public pressure through social media and a letter campaign to Gov. Tom Wolf led the DOC to change the policy.
Search data: Find more salary databases and more at Data Central
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