Prisons Ban Wally Lamb Books, Then Reverse Course

Aug 22, 2013

Author Wally Lamb on The Colin McEnroe Show
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR
 Wally Lamb, the best-selling author, advocate for female prisoners, and frequent contributor to The Colin McEnroe Show, reported last night that the Connecticut Department of Corrections had banned his book "She's Come Undone" and put "I'll Fly Away" on an "endangered list."  

Then we got this statement from the State Department of Correction less than a day after the news broke: 

 "Wally Lamb’s book, She’s Come Undone, came up for review by the Department of Correction’s Media Review Board when it was ordered by an in inmate at the Manson Youth Institution.  The purchase of the book was temporarily denied and also temporarily removed from circulation within the York Correctional Institution’s library due to some of the graphic nature of the book’s content. After a further review of the issue, the book has since been returned to circulation within the facility’s library. The department’s policy states that publications can be rejected by the review board for a variety of reasons, 'unless those materials which, taken as a whole, are literary, artistic, educational or scientific in nature.'  - In which case an exception is made."

Here's more on the reversal in the New Haven Register

Lamb's book "I'll Fly Away" is a collection of stories from the women of York Correctional Facility in Niantic, where he's worked with inmates since 1999. Recently, he's been outspoken in support of the clemency of Bonnie Foreshaw, who is serving the longest sentence of any Connecticut woman.