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Prisons all around the US have their own libraries, and the books this libraries contain, have to go through some serious evaluation before hitting the shelves but, how serious are this evaluations in reality?
Books reach prisons because they are either brought by the prisoners themselves, donated by other people or by editorials. This books have to follow certain rules and guidelines like “informing about escape methods” or “creating a danger within the context of the correctional facility”. This guidelines are often bent but, why?
As Shaun King said in his podcast “the Breakdown”, prisons are banning books to keep prisoners “bound to their minds”. Books such as “Prison Grievances: When to Write, How to Write” by Terri LeClerq (banned in Kansas) and even a children’s book “Visiting Day” by Jacqueline Woodson which, could have helped both parents and children to prepare for their first visit, are banned in most correctional centers and prisons. This centers excuse themselves by saying that books like this are “making the prisoners aggressive”. These are just a few examples but, if you take just 5 minutes of your time and search for your nearest correctional center, you will see that several world history books and even books assessing racism and politics are banned.