Colorado Jail Bars Inmates From Reading Local Newspapers


Colorado’s Garfield County Jail is barring inmates from reading local newspapers, jail commander Steve Hopple tells the Aspen Daily News. Prisoners may still see USA Today. “It's for the safety of our inmates,” he said. “I know that's hard to quite fathom. But as our population grows, we run out of space for special-needs inmates and those special-needs inmates' safety can be placed at risk.” Sexual predators and inmates convicted of crimes against children, for example, can be targeted by other prisoners seeking vigilante justice, Hopple said, adding, “We try to keep the local news from spreading.”

Other medium-sized and large jails have similar media policies, he said. Still, the Pitkin County Jail in Aspen has no news-censoring policies and has both the Aspen Daily News and The Aspen Times delivered daily. If a particular story disrupts security, a paper could be removed if needed, a jailer said.

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