Big Censorship in the Big House—A Quarter-Century After Turner v. Safley: Muting Movies, Music & Books Behind Bars

Calvert, Clay,Murrhee, Kara Carnley | May 30, 2012

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Turner v. Safley, this Article examines how federal courts across the country are applying the Turner standard today in cases involving the First Amendment free speech rights of inmates. Are courts too quick today to support the censorial proclivities of prison officials? Do judges too readily capitulate in deference to the concerns of those tasked with overseeing the incarcerated? Those are the key questions this Article addresses by analyzing inmate access to magazines, movies, books, and other common forms of media artifacts. This Article’s determinations stem from opinions rendered in 2010 and 2011 at both the federal appellate and district court levels.