Fight Censorship in Prison!

Many prisoners who request literature from MIM's Serve the People Free Books for Prisoners Program find that the prison does not allow them to receive the books, newspapers and magazines we send in. Censorship justification includes "books donated are used," the literature is a "threat to the security of the institution," and MIM's books are "not from the publisher" (even our own publications). Often books just do not arrive at the prisoner's cell, presumably intercepted in the mail room and tossed in the trash. In addition to refusing the books to the prisoners, some prisons insist that the prisoner give them money to send the books back to us.

One of the key responses to this censorship comes from the prisoners themselves: they file grievances protesting the censorship as a violation of prison policy and law. Sometimes this is enough to win the battle; sometimes they have to take it to court. Recent issues of MIM Notes have carried stories of such successful court cases.

To support prisoners' work from the outside, we have created postcards to protest censorship of prisoner mail. We set up with a table or clipboard and some big signs on the streets and ask people to sign the postcards to the prison. Postcard is below. For prisons to target for this postcard campaign see the list and articles below.

Fight Censorship Materials

  • Print up this postcard on cardstock, four per page, cut and fill in the blanks Fight Censorship Postcard (Adobe Acrobat File)
  • Or use this two sided postcard with art Fight Censorship Postcard (2-sides)
  • Print this poster and put it up around town Fight Prison Censorship Flyer

    Censorship news

  • MIM Censorship update, May 2002
  • List of States Censoring MIM, August 2001
  • MIM Censored for building public opinion
  • Abraham Lincoln should be censored too
  • Prison pigs make up rules to justify censorship

    Censorship information by state: click on a state to see campaign news

    Washington Oregon Idaho Wyoming Colorado Utah Nevada Montana North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska California Arizona New Mexico Oklahoma Kansas Minnesota Wisconsin Michigan Iowa Texas Alaska Hawaii Louisiana Arkansas Missouri Illinois Maine New Hampshire Vermont Massachussetts Rhode Island Connecticut New York New Jersey Delaware Maryland Pennsylvania Washington D.C. North Carolina Indiana Ohio Virginia West Virginia Kentucky Tennessee South Carolina Georgia Alabama Mississippi Florida

    Censorship: Prison officials in their words

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