Why Do Prisons Ban Books?
By: Brett Booker
Monday, March 6th 2017
(Written from Douglas County Corrections – Omaha, NE in 2016 – Currently at Leavenworth Prison in Leavenworth, KS)
Why do prisons and institutions ban books or deny inmates access to them? Well at Douglas County Corrections they have 7 reasons, as seen in the photo above under the Books/Publications section. As many of you know, I’m very interested in psychology, so I ordered several Robert Greene books a few months ago. They refused to give me the books, and placed them on my property, “due to content per executive staff.” What does that even mean? They even classified the material as Derogatory, Defamatory or Obscene Content. Ironically enough, a few days after they placed The Art of Seduction, 48 Laws of Power and 33 Strategies of War on my property, I was able to obtain all three through a different source.
I’ll explain the source later on, but it baffles me that corrections is scared of inmates obtaining knowledge. Now I understand banning pornography because of sexual predators, or books that will further criminal skills such as bomb making, lock picking or fraud, but why prevent tangible books that further one’s education? It makes no sense to me. One possible explanation, could be that corrections is afraid of an educated inmate. It is my perception, that they have slowly tried to distract and dumb down society. Therefore through education, mass incarceration can be combated, threatening the heads of corrections.
Nonetheless, the motives of corrections are very questionable. The name itself, corrections, suggests correcting behavior or actions, yet I’ve seen quite the opposite.