Dozens of Iowa prisoners sue state over pornography ban

Posted at 3:58 AM, Nov 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-29 23:36:02-05

FORT DODGE, IA (KCCI/CNN) – Some Iowa state prisoners are challenging a new state regulation banning pornography and porn reading rooms in state prisons.

In a federal lawsuit, nearly 60 inmates at the Fort Dodge Correctional Institution argue the ban is unconstitutional.

A federal judge struck down a similar ban on porn in Iowa prisons 30 years ago for being too vague.

The new rules started this month.

The director of the Drake University Constitutional Law Center says the regulations are much more specific this time.

And the current law is much more likely to be upheld.

"Prisoners generally have rights to access, absent some incredibly dangerous person, including reading materials, said Mark Kende, Director of the Drake University Constitutional Law Center. “And they have constitutional rights, even though they're in prison, the rights are diminished, but they have them,” he said.

A judge will ultimately decide if inmates have the right to porn.

An Iowa Department of Corrections spokesperson said the agency can't comment directly on pending litigation.

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