Michigan Prisoner Sues State Over Porn Ban

Jul 5, 2011 8:00 AM PST

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. — A Michigan inmate is suing the state claiming that the prison’s ban on porn is subjecting him to cruel and unusual punishment.

According to reports, Kyle Richards, 21, filed a handwritten lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Detroit on June 10 citing Gov. Rick Snyder and complaining that the restrictions have "been used as a method of 'psychological warfare' against prisoners, in order to both destroy the morale of inmates and break the spirit of individuals."

Richards claims his civil rights are being violated at the Macomb County Jail and said the denial of porn subjects him to a "poor standard of living" and "sexual and sensory deprivation."

The Detroit News reported that although Michigan's Department of Corrections does allow porn — with the exception of material depicting simulated rape, bestiality and sadomasochism — all porn is banned at Richards’ jail.

The American Civil Liberties Union said prisons can use their discretion and they have a lot of leeway when it comes to allowing the material.

Richards has been in prison since January after pleading guilty to bank robbery and is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 2.

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