Local Author's Book Aimed At Helping Inmates Lands On FDOC's 'Banned Books' List

Sep 10, 2019

Credit Reggie Garcia

In Florida prisons, anything from cigarettes to cellphones can be contraband. But, a few things on the list might be surprising -- like books. Some 20,000 of them are banned by the Florida Department of Corrections. Tallahassee Clemency lawyer Reggie Garcia’s book “How to Leave Prison Early” is one of them.

Garcia’s book teaches inmates how to get out of prison early, but they can’t read it. It was banned by the Florida Department of Corrections, a move Garcia thinks was unnecessary.

“I think it’s a little bit of overkill on DOC’s part with this particular book. The larger question is what other good valuable information is being denied to inmates," he said.

Garcia says his book is banned because it identifies a current state inmate, a violation of the department's administrative rules, "which essentially says if any written publication including a book identifies a current state inmate and creates a potential security threat to that inmate, that they can then prevent the publication," said Garcia.

The book details how an inmate would go about seeking work release, prison commutation, parole and conditional medical release which is for terminally ill inmates.