There are 480 Publications Banned in N.C. Prisons. One of Them Is a Copy of Oprah’s Magazine. | Triangulator | Indy Week
Pin It

There are 480 Publications Banned in N.C. Prisons. One of Them Is a Copy of Oprah’s Magazine. 

Last week, the N.C. Department of Public Safety announced it would immediately remove The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness from its list of publications that are banned in state prisons and review whether any other publications should be removed from the list. The move came a day after the ACLU of North Carolina sent DPS officials a letter demanding they do so.

Prohibiting Michelle Alexander's award-winning 2010 book is not only a violation of prisoners' First Amendment rights, the ACLU said, but also "cruelly ironic given the critical role it plays to understanding the pervasive racial injustice behind our epidemic of mass incarceration."

North Carolina isn't the only state where the book has been banned in prison. Earlier this month, under fire from that state's ACLU chapter, New Jersey prisons lifted their ban on the book. It's also banned in Florida.

DPS policy lets a facility prohibit an inmate from receiving a publication for a range of reasons that largely fall under the umbrella of disrupting "institutional order, security and safety" and "inmate rehabilitation." Sexually explicit material (Booty! Pirate Queens Volume 1 is prohibited in N.C. prisons) as well as publications depicting violence (A Game of Thrones Volume 1) or insurrection (The Anti-Government Movement Guidebook) can be banned. How-to information on manufacturing weapons, drugs. or poisons, disabling communication or security systems, or escaping from confinement may also be grounds for prohibition. Large, hardcover books may also be banned (Encyclopedia of North Carolina), with an exception made for legal and religious publications.

However, according to policy, "no publication or material will be withheld solely on the basis of its appeal to a particular ethnic, racial or religious group. A publication may not be rejected solely because its content is religious, philosophical, political, social or sexual, or because its content is unpopular or repugnant."

The most recent Disapproved Publications Report includes 480 titles prohibited in the past twelve months. Among the more unusual inclusions: Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, because it features the rape of a minor; Prison Ramen, a book of ramen recipes devised by inmate-cooks that apparently includes instructions on how to stow a razor blade; Hope—A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland, written by the two women who in 2013 famously escaped ten years of captivity in a Cleveland man's home; and the May 2017 edition of Elle Décor and the October 2017 issue of O: The Oprah Magazine, for reasons unknown.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Triangulator



Twitter Activity

Comments

Mr Guy. Thank you for your supreme grammar grading skills. I would note that speaking english(note the lower case e) …

by Timothy Oswald on Javiera Caballero Wants One Durham City Council Meeting to Be in Spanish, So English-Speakers Know What It’s Like (Triangulator)

Perhaps I was not direct enough.

Your point was that it was important that new immigrants learn to …

by Guy_Smiley on Javiera Caballero Wants One Durham City Council Meeting to Be in Spanish, So English-Speakers Know What It’s Like (Triangulator)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

Mr Guy. Thank you for your supreme grammar grading skills. I would note that speaking english(note the lower case e) …

by Timothy Oswald on Javiera Caballero Wants One Durham City Council Meeting to Be in Spanish, So English-Speakers Know What It’s Like (Triangulator)

Perhaps I was not direct enough.

Your point was that it was important that new immigrants learn to …

by Guy_Smiley on Javiera Caballero Wants One Durham City Council Meeting to Be in Spanish, So English-Speakers Know What It’s Like (Triangulator)

Mr Guy. Thank you for grading my comment. Although that was a lot of time spent to not address the …

by Timothy Oswald on Javiera Caballero Wants One Durham City Council Meeting to Be in Spanish, So English-Speakers Know What It’s Like (Triangulator)

Re: Mr. Oswald
The first of sentence of your comment has typo; Mr. Oswald means area not are.
The second …

by Guy_Smiley on Javiera Caballero Wants One Durham City Council Meeting to Be in Spanish, So English-Speakers Know What It’s Like (Triangulator)

"And having a bilingual society is bad for cultural cohesion. It creates a "then and us", mentality."

It has …

by vidvis on Javiera Caballero Wants One Durham City Council Meeting to Be in Spanish, So English-Speakers Know What It’s Like (Triangulator)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation