Skip navigation
Prisoner Education Guide

Porn Reading Rooms in Iowa Prisons Placed on Legislative Hit List

A proposed law, Senate Study Bill 3035, would put an end to “pornography reading rooms” in Iowa prisons. The rooms have existed since a 1988 federal court ruling that held the Iowa DOC’s rules on pornography were unconstitutionally vague and overbroad.

“The current policy on these materials does not align with the department’s commitment to creating and maintaining a culture of rehabilitation for all incarcerated individuals,” said Cord Overton, spokesman for the Iowa Department of Corrections.

Currently, prisoners use designated rooms to read sexually explicit materials, stated Rebecca Bowker, executive officer at the Iowa State Penitentiary. “It’s not always the same room. It’s just an empty room – an empty classroom or empty counselor’s space.”

The proposed legislation would adopt a policy used by the federal Bureau of Prisons. It would not allow state funds to be appropriated for prison officials to distribute or make available commercially published information or material to a prisoner “when such information or material is sexually explicit or features nudity.”

Under the current law, Iowa Code 904.310A, the definition of “reading material” does not encompass “material depicting or describing the genitals, sex acts, masturbation, excretory functions, or sadomasochistic abuse which the average person, taking the material as a whole and applying contemporary community standards ... would find appeals to the prurient interest and is patently offensive; and the material, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, scientific, political, or artistic value.”

Thus, it would seem that little actual “porn” is read in the Iowa DOC’s pornography reading rooms, and the proposed bill – which remains pending in the state legislature – is a solution looking for a problem.

Source: Des Moines Register

 


 

Advertise here

 



 

InmateMagazineService.com

 



 

Advertise here

 



 


 

InmateMagazineService.com