Why Are Prisons Banning Books by Black Authors? – Crime Report

The Crime Report (https://thecrimereport.org/2022/01/13/why-are-prisons-banning-books-by-black-authors/)
Photo by Eddie Codel via Flickr
Despite a drastic need for educational and self-empowering materials in prisons, authorities routinely impede incarcerees’ access to works deemed controversial for arbitrary and biased reasons, a practice long overdue for public examination, according to Andy Chan and Michelle Dillon, board members of the nonprofit organization Books to Prisoners, in an op-ed for the Washington Post.
A recent rejection from South Central Correctional Facility (SCCF) in Clifton, Tenn. of the Malcolm X biography by Walter Dean Myers,  “Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary,” a Scholastic biography intended for grades 7-12, highlights a widespread pattern of censorship by prisons that selectively and intentionally targets books by Black authors and books containing criticism of the treatment of Black people in this country, the authors said.
A 2019 survey by PEN America concluded: “prisons systems frequently place bans on literature that discusses civil rights, historical abuses within America’s prisons, or criticisms of the prison system itself, often on the grounds that such titles advocate disruption of the prison’s social order.”
Meanwhile, 2020 researchers found that a Wisconsin committee allowed “Mein Kampf” into prisons after review but banned publications about the Black Panthers because it considered them gang-related material. Chan and Dillon point out that these decisions are arbitrary, with a book accepted one day potentially being banned the next and some prisons allowing mailroom staff to be the final judge on whether a book should be prohibited.
Additional Reading: Report: Prisons Responsible for ‘Largest Book Ban’ in U.S.
The Michigan State Police is unrolling a five-point action plan to address the racial bias issue and will keep gathering data to better understand its causes.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

document.getElementById( “ak_js” ).setAttribute( “value”, ( new Date() ).getTime() );

Moyers was honored as TCR’s 2018 “Justice Media Trailblazer.” Watch the video of his remarks at the Feb 15, 2018 John Jay College dinner here.
Traditional policing must be linked to partnerships with community leaders, says a new report by the Council on Criminal Justice Violent Crime Working Group.
A new rule recently published by the Justice Department allows more people to participate in a program that grants prisoners the opportunity to earn shorter jail terms, through the First Step Act.
The first charge of seditious conspiracy has been leveled against Stewart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the Oath Keepers, along with 10 others, as the committee steps up efforts to probe how misinformation fueled the Capitol riot.
The decision to overturn a Missouri statutory rape case because an investigator’s remote testimony violated the defendant’s Sixth Amendment rights could eventually go before the U.S. Supreme Court. 
A U.S. Senate measure known as the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 would remove a legal hurdle blocking many employees from suing over workplace sexual misconduct.
Justice Digest
© Copyright 2022, The Crime Report
Built with the Largo WordPress Theme from the Institute for Nonprofit News.
Back to top ↑