This week the North Carolina American Civil Liberties Union wrote a letter to state officials asking them to remove “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age of Colorblindness” (The New Press/2012) from the list of banned books in state prisons. The book argues that the U.S. criminal justice system is a contemporary system of racial control.
The day after state officials received the letter from the ACLU, they removed “The New Jim Crow” from the list of banned books.
Host Frank Stasio talks to Chris Brook, legal director for the North Carolina ACLU, about why the list of banned books exists and the criteria for how books make it on the list. Michele Luecking-Sunman, an attorney who works with North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, discusses her experience working with inmates whose books were banned.
Michele Luecking-Sunman on what happens if the state’s Publications Review Committee decides material is not appropriate for the inmates:
If they determine that the book or the magazine is not appropriate, the person who's incarcerated can determine if they'd like to have it sent home or sent to a friend. Or it will be destroyed, and then it remains on the list for a year.
Check out the book trailer for "The New Jim Crow":