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First Circuit Upholds Prison Regulation Banning Sexually Explicit Materials

The First Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a district court’s grant of summary judgment to prison officials, which upheld a prison regulation banning prisoners’ receipt of publications that feature “nudity” or are “sexually explicit” and the display of “semi-nude, scantily clad, and/or sexually suggestive” material in prisoners’ cells.

Before the Court was the appeal of eleven Massachusetts prisoners who challenged the prison regulation on First Amendment grounds. See: Moses v. Dennehy, 523 F.Supp 2d.57 (D. Mass. 2007).

The First Circuit held that “the district courts appropriately relied on the Commissioner’s affidavit to establish the requisite rational connection between the legitimate government interests articulated there and the chosen means of furthering them.” The other three factors of the Turner v. Safley, 107 S.Ct. 2254 (1987) serve only as further checks on the regulation’s reasonableness,” wrote the Court.

See: Josselyn v. Dennehy, 2009 US App Lexis 12272 (1st Cir. 2009).

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Related legal case

Josselyn v. Dennehy