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Friday, July 12, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

7th Circuit Upholds Prison Ban On Celebrity Photos

CHICAGO (CN) - Wisconsin prisoner Jevon Jackson does not have a First Amendment right to display a commercial photograph of actress Jennifer Aniston in his prison cell, the 7th Circuit ruled.

Authorities at the Green Bay Correctional Institute banned inmates from possessing photos of "celebrity figures, movie stars, models or other (sic) that are produced for sale or distribution" after staff members grew tired of screening them for nudity and gang symbols.

But inmates can receive commercial magazines and photographs of friends or family members. So, while Aniston may be a famous "Friend," she is not a friend whose picture Jackson can receive.

Jackson said the rule was arbitrary and violated his free-speech rights, noting that he and other inmates could easily circumvent it by ordering a bunch of celebrity magazines.

Judge Evans upheld the ban, saying it was "necessary to preserve staff resources," since the prison has to screen up to 1,500 pieces of mail a day. See ruling.

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