In States across the country we have State departmental agencies like the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PADOC) acting as government “thought control” police over prisoners in an attempt to control their minds and actions via censoring literature readily available to the public.
The censored literature covers a wide range of topics, mostly on Leftist, Socialist, African or Islamic religions, and African or Latino/a History and Cultural topics. Literature that is deemed Ethnic and un-American is censored as a threat.
In the CDRC, if a prisoner is found to possess a picture of civil rights legend Cesar Chavez or Malcolm X, or books on African or Mexican history, or any Leftist or Socialist political writings, such material will be confiscated as contraband items and used against the prisoner as evidence of gang-affiliation. Prisoners caught with such literature or pictures are designated as a member of a Security Threat Group (STG) (i.e. “Gang), and then placed under indefinite solitary confinement.
Currently, in response to the Pelican Bay prison hunger strike throughout the CDCR system, prison officials have censored prisoners’ mail, visits, and phone calls to their families, human rights groups, and the media in an attempt to silence prisoners’ messages of the CDCR’s torture chambers to the world.
In PA, the PADOC has a “|Banned Books Catalog” of over 5,000 pages, where they have banned thru censorship nearly all books that has “African,” “Black,” or “Islam” in its title. Most “Urban Street Novels” and “Urban Magazines” by Black authors and Editors are banned from reading. African-American history books like “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” “Mis-Education of the Negro,” “Without Sanctuary,” and “Soul of Black Folks” have all been banned by prison officials.
Many Leftist political magazines and books have been banned as well, in particular, THE MOVEMENT human rights magazine and all of the books written by political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal.
Like the 19th. Century slave plantation system, the U.S. penal plantation system seeks to pull out all the stops to prevent a prisoner from learning and becoming politically-conscious, because to prison officials, the most dangerous thing is an EDUCATED prisoner!
From the Belly of the Beast, at Prison Radio, I am Shakaboona. Thank you for listening. Kerry “Shakaboona” Marshall is Co-Founder (Editor of THE MOVEMENT magazine, founding member of the Human rights Coalitions (HRC), Prison Radio Correspondent, and Child Lifer prisoner. And can be reached at: SCI-Rockview,) IBE-7826, Box-A, Bellefonte, PA 16823.