Letter to Daily Telegraph on books in prison
Today (Wednesday, 26 March), a host of authors have written to the Daily Telegraph in support of the Howard League for Penal Reform’s campaign to reverse a Ministry of Justice ban on family and friends sending books and other essentials to prisoners.
The text of the letter and a full list of signatories is below.
SIR - We are extremely concerned at new rules that ban family and friends sending in books to prisoners. Whilst we understand that prisons must be able to apply incentives to reward good behaviour by prisoners, we do not believe that education and reading should be part of that policy. Books represent a lifeline behind bars, a way of nourishing the mind and filling the many hours that prisoners spend locked in their cells. In an environment with no internet access and only limited library facilities, books become all the more important.
We urge the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling, to reconsider the Prison Service Instruction that limits books and other essentials being sent to prisoners from family and friends.
Frances Crook, Chief Executive, The Howard League for Penal Reform
Carol Ann Duffy
Maggie Fergusson, Director, The Royal Society of Literature
April De Angelis
Shami Chakrabarti, Director, Liberty
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