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Settlement Permits Free and Gift Publications to Connecticut Prisoners

Prisoners in the Connecticut Department of Corrections (CDOC) can now receive free and gift publications that were previously banned under Administrative Directive 10.7, according to the terms of a March 18, 2004, settlement agreement.

A.D. 10.7 prohibited prisoners from receiving publications paid for or donated by a third party--whether from a family member, friend, charitable organization, or government entity. The banned publications included books, magazines, newspapers, advertising brochures, flyers, and catalogues.

Todd Morrison, a prisoner at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution, had challenged the directive in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut on the grounds that it violated his constitutional rights under the First Amendment. The suit was dismissed without prejudice following the settlement agreement.

Under the settlement, prisoners may now receive free hardcover or paper bound publications and/or educational, legal, religious or other similar publications, provided the publications are in new condition, mailed directly from a publisher, book club or book store, and all other security and space limitation requirements are met. The CDOC also agreed to enforce the settlement agreement in all prisons under its control and to post notice of the new policy in all housing areas and libraries.

Morrison, who filed the lawsuit pro se, was also awarded $250 in costs. See: Morrison v. Lantz, USDC D CT, Case No. 3:02CV1146(DFM).

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Related legal case

Morrison v. Lantz

The settlement is in the brief bank.