You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Book ban’ tag.

In November, I penned a piece for Change.org about the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s ban on two books that advocated for prison reform.

This week, friend Matt Kelley brought to my attention that Texas is now banning John Grisham novels. Kelley describes the sophisticated approach of the TDCJ:

The system is fairly arbitrary – prison mailroom staff look for offensive images and make the decision on the spot. Prisoners can appeal to state officials, but it’s tough to argue on behalf of a book you can’t see.

C’mon! Really? Add your name to over 500 petitioners.

IMG_7250

Three months ago, I wrote about Silja Talvi‘s excellent book Women Behind Bars.

It turns out the Texas Department of Criminal Justice also noticed it. They banned it – along with another book, Perpetual Prison Machine by Joel Dyer. Both books are distributed by Prison Legal News – a phenomenal non-profit based here in Seattle that educates America’s incarcerated class on its human and legal rights.

Prison Legal News has launched a lawsuit against staff and senior officials of the TDCJ. Money is not as issue here, principle is. “PLN is seeking compensatory, punitive and nominal damages plus declaratory and injunctive relief for violation of its rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as attorney fees and costs.”

“It is a sad commentary when government officials censor books sent to prisoners – particularly books that deal with prisoners’ rights and conditions in our nation’s prisons,” stated PLN editor Paul Wright. “Apparently, the TDCJ prefers that prisoners remain uninformed about issues that directly affect them. We believe this is a poor rationale for censorship.”

WHAT TO DO

Visit Change.org and read my brief article.

Download the full PLN lawsuit (PDF).

Sign the petition to the TDCJ for reversal of their censorship policy.

EMAIL

prisonphotography [at] gmail [dot] com

@BROOKPETE ON TWITTER

Prison Photography Archives

Post Categories