Beard v. Banks Decided

February 17, 2006

Reviewing whether maximum security prisoners in long-term segregation can be denied access to all non-religious newspapers and magazines. DECIDED

Pennsylvania prison officials have adopted a policy of denying maximum security prisoners in long-term segregation all access to non-religious newspapers and magazines. The questions presented by this case are whether that policy violates the First Amendment, and whether judges should defer to prison officials when their decisions have less to do with defined security needs than with a belief that harsh conditions will operate as a general deterrent against misbehavior.

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