Book Written Behind Bars May Be Banned

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TRENTON -- New Jersey's corrections commissioner George Hayman is considering whether to ban a book written by 43 inmates from state prisons.

Kal Wagenheim assembled the 187-page book, "Inside/Out: Voices From New Jersey State Prison," after teaching writing at Trenton's New Jersey State Prison. His students were inmates convicted of murder, manslaughter and other serious crimes.

There's no harm in letting inmates read the fiction, nonfiction and poetry, Wagenheim said.

But Corrections Department officials are troubled by references to gang activity, drug use, assaults and murder.

Hayman does not have a timetable for when he'll decide whether to allow the book.  

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