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September 11, 2009

Virginia Bans Charity's Prison Books Program

The state of Virginia plans to eliminate a nonprofit group’s effort to provide books to prison inmates, causing a public outcry, reports The Washington Post.

Prison officials last month banned the Quest Institute’s two-decades-old Books Behind Bars effort, saying it presented security risks and created too much work for corrections officers. Corrections Department spokesman Larry Traylor said contraband had found its way into a prison through a Quest volume.

Advocates for prisoners defend the program, which has brought more than 1 million books into cells across the state, as a low-cost way to help inmates who want to learn.

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