But Duffy said it was "atrocious that government ministers will not even meet with the Howard League to discuss our concerns", and that she did not want "to engage in a media stunt with the Lord Chancellor in visiting a prison, as I, like most writers, have already visited prisons and indeed wrote the foreword to an edition of the PEN Prisoners Writing Anthology". … [Read more...] about Prisoner to sue justice ministry over books ban
The ban on sending books to prisoners in England and Wales was finally declared unlawful by Mr Justice Collins in the high court on Friday. It is good news for prisoners, good news for their families and friends, and good news for Frances Crook and the Howard League for Penal Reform who kick-started the campaign to get the ridiculous ruling overturned. And it is probably good news for many inside the Ministry of Justice who, I suspect, are heartily tired of defending the indefensible and secretly glad to be able to blame the high court for the U-turn they should have performed a long time ago. … [Read more...] about The ban on books for prisoners is over. But how did it happen in the first place?
The test case had been brought on behalf of a prisoner, Barbara Gordon-Jones, who has a doctorate in English literature, and who the ruling notes wished to read books which were “not normally required by fellow prisoners”. A neurologist who saw her in March 2014 “noted her love of reading and the importance to her of access to books”. At that time she was reading three books, one by Alan Bennett, one by Monica Ali and the dialogues of Marcus Aurelius. … [Read more...] about Writers rejoice at ruling against ‘cruel and ludicrous’ prison books ban