Monday, June 19, 2006

NJ bans media from prisons

New Jersey has instituted a complete ban on news media interviews with prison inmates, The Star-Ledger reports. "The press still has the option of writing to inmates if they have questions," a prison spokesman said.

Star-Ledger reporter William Kleinknecht writes:
"For decades, the jailhouse interview has been a staple of American journalism, the fodder for books like 'In Cold Blood' and 'The Executioner's Song' and movies like 'The Thin Blue Line.'

"Inmates have long used such interviews to protest their innocence, decry prison conditions or just tell their life stories, not always a welcome prospect for law enforcement officials and victims of crime."
The New Jersey Press Association said it would seek to have the policy overturned.

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