CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) filed a lawsuit against the Illinois Department of Corrections that alleges constitutional violations related to censorship of HRCD’s publications mailed to Illinois state prisoners.
The non-profit organization says its publications are being censored and, in some cases, not being delivered.
Attorney Alan Mills, of the Uptown People’s Law Center, is representing the publisher and says this has been going on in dozens of prisons for years.
“They check off the little box sometimes, which says ‘security,’ but that’s all they say. So there’s no way for us to know which articles they think are a problem, let alone why they think they’re a problem,” he said. “These are reported legal decisions — so we can’t understand at all why there would be an objection.”
The publications include Prison Legal News, a 72-page monthly publication that covers news and court rulings related to the criminal justice system. HRDC says, as of January 2018, over 200 Illinois state prisoners subscribe to PLN, which has been published for over 27 years.
The organization also distributes around 50 self-help and legal books of interest to prisoners.
The suit asks for an end to the alleged censorship and punitive damages.