07.12.06

Murderer, Auto-Thief Challenge Indy Prisons’ Porn Ban

Posted in Get Out Of Jail, The Law at 6:25 pm by

From the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette :

Two inmates are suing the Indiana Department of Correction to overturn a new policy that bars magazines and other printed materials that depict nudity or sexual conduct.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis seeks class-action status on behalf of more than 20,000 state prisoners and challenges a policy that went into effect July 1 barring adult magazines such as Playboy and Hustler and the motorcycle magazine Easyriders. The policy could prohibit sexually explicit letters and general circulation publications such as National Geographic magazine and daily newspapers, according to the complaint, which said the new rule violates the plaintiffs™ civil rights.

œThe policy is written so broadly that it includes within its prohibitions such things as personal letters between prisoners and loved ones and much of the world™s great literature and art, said the complaint, which was prepared by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana.

One of the two plaintiffs named in the complaint is Ernest Tope (above), an inmate at the Pendleton Correctional Facility near Anderson who is serving a life sentence for murder from Allen County. He claims he cannot subscribe to Easyriders because it contains partial nudity and that the policy also may bar books such as steamy novels by the best-selling author Jackie Collins that have been available in the past through the prison library.

Both Tope and the other named plaintiff, murder and auto theft convict Wade Meisberger, 34, of Monroe County, challenged the new policy through the prison grievance system but so far have been unsuccessful, the complaint said. Meisberger, 34, is held at the Miami Correctional Facility near Peru.

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