Inmate Writers Can Keep Money

Remember the inmates who, after they had contributed to a literary anthology, were being asked by the State of Connecticut for their royalties in compensation for their incarceration costs? Now that one of the writers has won the PEN First Amendment award, the state is backing down.

Now, however, after PEN made Ms. Lane one of the literary world’s newest faces of imperiled free speech by announcing her award last month, Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut attorney general, who filed the suit, says the convicts who contributed to “Couldn’t Keep It to Myself” will get to keep their money after all. A settlement was signed late Friday.

The fact that the inmates were making less than $10,000 from their royalties so far may have had more than a little to do with the change of heart.