Western Friend publishes books of Faith and Practice, which we sometimes send to prisoners.
When I heard that one prisoner had not received a book of Faith and Practice that I had mailed to him, I sent another.
Both books were returned to Western Friend with a label attached to them, reading, “Effective August 1, 2018: Miami Correctional Facility [in Bunker Hill, Indiana] only accepts books from Amazon (no 3rd party sellers) and Edward Hamilton Book Distributors.”
Please join me in objecting to this policy as a violation of Quaker’s First Amendment rights to free speech and free practice of religion.
You can do this by filing a complaint with the Indiana Ombudsman Bureau.
Download the “complaint form” provided below, fill out the form, and mail a printed copy of your complaint to:
Charlene Burkett, Director
Indiana Ombudsman Bureau
402 W. Washington St., W479
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Here are some sample answers to questions in the form:
DOC Facility Involved: Miami Correctional Facility in Bunker Hill, IN
Name and D.O.C. number of all Offenders who may have information regarding this matter: None
Name and position of all D.O.C. employees who may have information regarding this matter: William Hyatte, Warden
Describe your complaint:
I am a member of a religious denomination – The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). We publish religious books and magazines, and send some of those to prisoners. Miami Correctional Facility only accepts books from Amazon and Edward Hamilton Book Distributors. This policy is violating Quaker’s First Amendment Rights to free expression of religion.
Please let me know that you will direct the Miami Correctional Facility to change this policy, which violates the U.S. Constitution.
from Mary Klein, Western Friend (5/1/2020)