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Kimberlin v. U.S. Dept. of Justice.

U.S. Appeals Court



Kimberlin v. U.S. Dept. of Justice, 318 F.3d 228 (D.C.Cir. 2003). Prison inmates brought an action against the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) alleging that the BOP's ban on electric or electronic musical instruments, except those used in connection with religious activities, violated their constitutional rights to free expression and equal protection. The district court held that the policy did not violate the First Amendment, but entered summary judgment in favor of the inmates on their equal protection claim. The inmates appealed and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the BOP reasonably interpreted a statute that banned the use of appropriated funds for the "use or possession" of electric or electronic musical instruments, as a prohibition against the possession of such instruments. The court noted that even if the inmates' rights of free expression were implicated by the BOP regulation, it did not impermissibly infringe on those rights because it was reasonably related to the legitimate interest in conserving correctional funds, and inmates have access to alternatives such as voice and acoustic instruments. (Federal Correctional Institution at Cumberland, Maryland)
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Article Details
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Publication:Corrections Caselaw Quarterly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2003
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