The book “The New Jim Crow,” about the mass incarceration of African Americans, was banned in two New Jersey prisons. But after a challenge by the ACLU, prisoners across the state will be able to read it.
The Los Angeles Times says the book, published in 2010, argues that African Americans are unfairly targeted by the “War on Drugs,” and are more likely to face jail time for criminal offenses.
New Jersey isn’t the only state to come under fire for banning books in prisons. A new directive in New York has made it difficult for prisoners there to receive books from people outside their facilities.
Prisoners would only be able to receive packages from an approved list of vendors — friends, family and other entities, such as nonprofits, would not be able to send them any packages, including books.
There are very few titles available. The first five of eight approved vendors on the list offered just 78 books in total: “five romance novels, 14 religious texts, 24 drawing or coloring books, 21 puzzle books, 11 how-to books, one dictionary, and one thesaurus.”
New York is also under fire for similar practices. It’s interesting that these two deep blue states, who claim to be committed to racial harmony, would be so in to Jim Crow.