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LETTER: Let magazines in to SD prisons

To the Editor: I am writing to let you and your readers know that the South Dakota State Penitentiary is violating the First Amendment to the Constitution when it rejects magazines that any kid can buy for being sexually explicit. They use this s...

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(metro creative)

To the Editor:

I am writing to let you and your readers know that the South Dakota State Penitentiary is violating the First Amendment to the Constitution when it rejects magazines that any kid can buy for being sexually explicit.

They use this sexually explicit rule as a way to censure and punish inmates. I would argue that if anyone under the age of 18 can buy these magazines, such as People and Military History, then by law they are not sexually explicit. Why are prison staff rejecting magazines that any kid can buy?

I want to know what your readers and taxpayers think. Look at People Magazine for Feb. 29 on page 71 and tell me if you think it is so sexually explicit that full grown adults in prison cannot get it, but kids under 18 years of age can.

I ask you to also look at the magazine Military History for May 2016 and tell me if you think it's sexually explicit. Because the prison thinks it is, even though any kid can buy it on any newsstand or store.

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If you think it is ridiculous that this prison is rejecting these and many other magazines like them as sexually explicit, I encourage you to call the prison and tell them to stop violating the First Amendment.

You, the taxpayer, will be the one after all, who will have to pay for the possible lawsuits that may be filed by these stupid rules.

A more common-sense mailroom policy should be if any kid can purchase a magazine, then it should be allowed in prison with no rejections, after all, reading is a peaceful, positive way for prisoners to pass the time.

Write in and let me know your opinion and call the prison and tell them to let People and Military History magazines and others in. They really need to use some common sense, but common sense isn't too common with prison officials.

Shane Bell

Sioux Falls

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