While behind bars, many are eager to become more educated in order to transform their lives. But NPR reports that it is difficult for inmates because of the “arbitrary book censorship that incarcerated people face nationwide.”
Who decides what books should and should not be allowed in prisons?
Censorship guidelines vary across the country and the way that books are banned or removed from the reach of inmates is totally up to those who run the system there.
NPR reports that for the most part, book bans are arbitrary.
In Texas, for example, prisons censored Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, a Pulitzer Prize winning novel.
In Kansas, state prisons banned The Hate U Give, and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. NPR reports that Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf is, however, accessible to prisoners.
Though some prisons systems are trying to improve their methods for selecting what books are available to prisoners, many continue to adhere to vague book ban guidelines, which experts note makes it difficult for prisoners to receive an education free of bias from the state’s system and values.
Read Full Story: NPR