The author of a Pulitzer Prize-winning book about the revolt at the Attica Correctional Facility in 1971 sued New York state prison authorities on Thursday, saying they’ve unconstitutionally banned her book behind bars.
Author Heather Ann Thompson, a University of Michigan professor, brought the lawsuit in Manhattan federal court over the treatment by New York State Department of Corrections officials of her book: “Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971,” published in 2016.
Named as defendants were the department’s acting commissioner and a second official with decision-making authority regarding censorship determinations.
The lawsuit contends that the ban is unconstitutional, particularly because the state has blocked inmates from accessing her book, prevented her from sharing it with inmates and denied her an opportunity to contest the ban.
“People have a right to read, and people have a right to history,” Thompson said in a release. “We also have a right to have our books read. It’s a shame we live in a country where we censor people and ideas.”