The First Amendment protects our freedom of expression and, by extension, our access to reading material. But in prison, it’s sometimes another story.   

With our Restricted Reading series, we’re examining access to information in prison and the right to intellectual freedom for the more than 2.2 million people incarcerated in America today.   

We’ll be releasing a special series on these issues during Banned Books week Sept. 26 – Oct. 2.

In the meantime, check out these short personal audio narratives we’ve created around the issue:  


Introductory montage about prison censorship featuring Freedom to Read Foundation board member Eldon Ray James, who was formerly incarcerated, institutional library consultant Erin Boyington from the Colorado State Library, The Militant Newspaper staff writer Seth Galinsky and University of Illinois faculty member and Education Justice Project director Rebecca Ginsburg.    

An overview on restricted reading practices in prison with Pen America’s James Tager, author of Literature Locked Up: How Prison Book Restriction Policies Constitute the Nation’s Largest Book Ban.