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Can a California State Prisoner publish a book while in prison

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Can a California State Prisoner publish a book while in prison and receive compensation for it? Any case law supporting this right?


My name isXXXXX'm a licensed attorney. Glad to try and help out.

I'm pleased to share the following information with you. No, this is not allowed, as a matter of regulation (rather than case law). You astutely cited the appropriate provision: 15 CCR § 3024. Note the clear and plain language prohibiting (and defining as impermissible business activity) "...any revenue generating or profit making activity..." In other words, care was taken to make the regulatory language as broad and inclusive as possible. The focus is on profit, meaning an inmate is free to write, but not to reap the economic benefits of his or her artistic endeavors. A famous example of the application of this provision would be that of the artistic renderings of Charles Manson. There certainly have been instances of inmates publishing works, such as the case of Michael Santos who not only authored but published some seven books during his 25 or so years of incarceration. However, this was time served as a federal inmate as opposed to state confinement.

If you have a follow-up question or need clarification, please just say the word by using "reply" to reach me.

I truly hope all works out for you.

Take care,

Ben, J.D.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Would the phase "business activity" include non profit business relationship? Does 3024 bar inmates from having an agreement with
a publisher?


Hello again,

Thanks for writing back...great to hear from you!

Logical questions, and I'm happy to answer each of them in the order presented.

"Would the phase "business activity" include non profit business relationship?"

No. The focus is monetary, pecuniary, financial, economic. Take out the factor of money, and there's no violation or conflict.

"Does 3024 bar inmates from having an agreement with a publisher?"

No. However, again, the agreement would have to exclude the inmate making a monetary profit.

Kind regards,

Ben, J.D.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Are there any citations that support this proposition?

Hi there.
"Are there any citations that support this proposition?"
Yes. To view the primary source text, please click the following link:
15 CCR § 3024
By way of a bit of history, the first law was enacted in 1983. However, it was struck down by the ruling in Keenan v. Superior Court (2002) 27 Cal.4th 413. Thereafter, the California State Assembly enacted SB 1887, informally called the "Son of Sam Law II,” in 2002. This is still current good law today, and it gives rise to the current regulation cited above.
Best regards,

Ben, J.D.

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