Ultimately, when it comes to a fundamental right like reading, all prisoners should have equal access regardless of ability to pay. As I have argued before, reading can play an important role in educating and rehabilitating those prisoners who want to reform. When we place barriers to information between prisoners and rehabilitation, I would argue that they aren’t the only ones who pay – we all do.
The incarcerated are an oft-forgotten demographic, but this quality shouldn’t dampen their fundamental human-rights. For US prisoners, access to library materials is wrought with roadblocks built by a tumultuous past.