British Government Justice Minister Bans The Sending Of Books To Prisons

British Government Justice Minister Bans The Sending Of Books To Prisons

‘In one country prisoners can get four days off their sentence for every book they read, in another a ban on sending books to prisoners is being introduced.
The first country – not generally known for its enlightened prison system – is Brazil; the second country – to our shame – is the UK, booktrade info tells us.’

For more information see Tim Finch’s article at:

Where Tim describes the action by minister Chris Grayling as not just nasty but bizarre.

Are we moving towards a fascist state where the next action will be the banning and burning of books by our Conservative government? Over dramatic, I hope.
A recent report found that people who read are more compassionate and understanding of the feelings and situations of those around them. Mr Grayling obviously did not read the report. The findings would particularly apply to a person serving a sentence in prison.

I’m asking whether you would feel able to send a book to a prison. I want to find out the interest, initially, before we decide the date and prison.
If you are interested in taking part please contact me, and circulate, if you feel able to, to fellow authors and publishers.

My email address is

There is a petition which people can sign if they wish. All being well the address is here:

Just wondering if this is 'legal' in the eyes of the European Court of Human Rights ? Is this not taking away one of the fundamental rights of any of us ? Ok, we agree to give up our 'freedom' by being locked upand rightly so maybe but this measure seems to border on the denial of a basic human right, or is it me just being to compassionate ?

I assume most prisons have their own library or book corner, or am I wrong ?

Doreen - you couldn't make that up could you! Arf!

Not trying to justify the decision, just putting an alternative interpretation, and give some of the explanations that make this not a book banning move (although that is one result) but an ?increase? in security at prisons The photograph of something hidden in hollowed out weetabix was interesting and, I assume, treu?

There you go a new business opportunity for Amazon!

Funny that you say the 'staff' do not have the time to check things going into the prison. I would have thought that would have been one of the basic requirements of being a prison guard? Presumably someone sorts out any mail for the inmates?

I seek enlightenment, as the issue seems to go beyond the apparent bizarre attitude of the Minister, and raises (yet) another question of the competence of prisons?

As I understand it it is not "books" that are banned but parcels which may contain anything from books to drugs, knives to mobile phones, as the staff do not have time to search them all. Books are available in libraries in prisons and any prisoner is permitted to have up to 12 books out at any one time.

I also believe that deliveries from Amazon are accepted it is just the private parcels that may contain anything that are being banned.

We really shouldn't be surprised at the mindset of most politicians these days, but this really does lead to questioning of the sanity of this particular individual.

I don't think 'rewarding' him with free books is the answer - even if he is capable of reading, which I doubt. Perhaps any diatribes should be directed to his boss David Cameron?

Mr Grayling is a disgusting apology for a human being let alone for a minister of justice and should be thoroughly ashamed of himself. Not that he will.

Books to Prisons - I think it best to send the book to Mr Grayling at the House of Commons. There are two reasons for this, one being that a prison probably won’t be able to receive the book so the protest would be wasted, two, it would be better that Mr Grayling receive a lot of book parcels for the prisons for him to distribute.
And books are books, so take part whether you are a reader or author.
Banning the sending of books to prisons is the taking away of the right to read, a human right. Mr Grayling should not be allowed to do this.

Mr Grayling’s address is:

Mr. C. Grayling MP
House of Commons,