Earlier this week, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety announced it would remove The New Jim Crow
from the list of books, magazines and newspapers state prisoners can't have. The move came just one day after the ACLU of North Carolina demanded the agency reverse the ban, calling it not only a First Amendment violation but "cruelly ironic" given the award winning book's subject matter: mass incarceration as a modern means of racial subjugation.
So, we were curious what else was on the DPS Disapproved Publications Report and requested a copy. The list hasn't yet been updated to remove The New Jim Crow, and DPS says its director of prisons is reviewing whether any other publications should be un-banned.
DPS policy lets a facility prohibit an inmate from receiving a publication for a range of reasons that largely fall under the umbrella of disrupting "institutional order, security and safety" and "inmate rehabilitation." Sexually explicit material as well as publications depicting violence, or insurrection can be banned. How-to information on manufacturing weapons, drugs or poisons, disabling communication or security systems or escaping from confinement may also be grounds for prohibition. Large, hardcover books may also be banned, with an exception made for legal and religious publications.
However, according to policy, "no publication or material will be withheld solely on the basis of its appeal to a particular ethnic, racial or religious group. A publication may not be rejected solely because its content is religious, philosophical, political, social or sexual, or because its content is unpopular or repugnant." Only publications disapproved in the previous twelve months can be included in the list.
You can check out all 480 publications yourself
, but here are a few highlights and some of the reasons they were banned.
A Game of Thrones Volume 1
Booty! Pirate Queens Volume 1
Elves, Vol. 1
, for sexually explicit content and images.
for sexually explicit content and images.
Encyclopedia of North Carolina,
for it's size and hard cover.
Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker
Grit Magazine July/August,
a magazine on "Rural American Know-How" that contained instructions on how to start a fire.
, Hunter S. Thompson's account of the motorcycle gang, banned for detailing the murder of prison guards.
High Times Pot Smokers Handbook
Hope – A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland,
written by the two women who in 2013 famously escaped ten years of captivity in a Cleveland man's home.
How to Draw the Human Figure
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
, Maya Angelou's memoir, prohibited for depicting the rape of a minor.
John LeCarre Collection of Three Novels
Liberalism is A Mental Disorder.
A quote from the book: "I envision an Oil for Illegals program ... The president should demand one barrel of oil from Mexico for every illegal that sneaks into our country."
Marvel: The Avengers Vault
Prison Ramen, "
with more than 65 ramen recipes and stories of prison life from the inmate/cooks who devised them." Banned for describing how to conceal a razor blade for use as a weapon.
The Anti-Government Movement Guidebook
The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need
Truly Tasteless Jokes Two
The Walking Dead
Trans Bodies, Trans Selves
Webster’s Large Print Dictionary
Elle Décor May 2017
Manolo Blahnik’s Must Haves must have been threatening.
O: The Oprah Magazine October 2017
On the cover, "She was a
straight married mom ... "
A bunch of /The Final Call
(a newspaper founded by Louis Farrakhan) and San Francisco Bay View
(“the voice of Black Liberation”)
Multiple editions of Maxim, Playboy
and Letters to Penthouse
… And several other fashion, art, pornography, tattoo, martial arts and dog-themed publications.
The ACLU of NC says it will be watching as DPS officials review the list of banned books.