Game of Thrones books banned in Connecticut prisons

Image: Game of Thrones/HBO
Image: Game of Thrones/HBO /

If you’re in prison, and you have a ton of time on your hands to catch up on your reading, a huge series like George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire probably sounds right up your alley. But if you’re doing time in Connecticut, that’s off the table. The Provider Journal reports that Martin’s books are among the works on the state’s list of over 2,000 banned works, which also includes issues of ESPN and GQ as well as a book on how to draw superheroes.

The Provider Journal specifically mentions George R.R. Martin’s The World of Ice & Fire, which is kind of a reference book for the series, being banned for “safety and security reasons.” Meanwhile, the first and fourth volumes of the Game of Thrones graphic novel are banned on account of their sexually explicit material. One imagines every book he’s touched is banned if that’s the criteria…

Why does Connecticut ban Game of Thrones books?

How does Connecticut decide what books to ban? Generally, the guidelines follow Federal Bureau of Prisons regulations that state publications can only be rejected if they are found to be “detrimental to the security, good order, or discipline of the institution or if it might facilitate criminal activity.”

If you think that sounds too broad, you’re not alone, as several prisoners’ rights groups have argued. “The costs outweigh the benefits,” wrote national nonprofit Books to Prisoners. “Our hope is that one day these restrictions will be lifted. We need to challenge these overly inclusive lists as what they really are: Codified censorship for a vulnerable population.”

The American Library Association also isn’t a fan of this practice. “That material contains unpopular views or even what may be considered repugnant content does not justify its censorship,” it argued. “When free people, through judicial procedure, segregate some of their own, they incur the responsibility to provide humane treatment and essential rights… The right to choose what to read is deeply important, and the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society.”

There are some pretty eyebrow-raising selections on these banned book list, including publications put out be the Coalition for Prisoners’ Rights, which you’d think would be the kind of thing prisoners should have access to. And if not that, at least let people visit Westeros for a while, yeesh.

dark. Next. We’ll get a release date for HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel show “soon”

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