MoJo’s Drug War Issue Banned by Virginia’s Dept of Corrections


You could say we have a loyal following behind bars. A captive audience, yes, but also one on the hunt for investigative stories of justice and fairness, and the pursuit of as much. Also, we pay close attention to what happens in prisons; we’ve covered the prison industrial complex quite extensively. But we’re not publishing secret jailbreak cypher code or anything, promise. Which apparently we need to say out loud:

Last year when we released our package on the coming prison meltdown we got a letter from a reader at the Pickaway Correctional Center in Ohio saying the issue was being withheld. Specifically, the prison cited our written examples of prison slang with explanation” but, strangely enough, neither our list of banned books, nor our tips for an easier prison stay.

Then, today, we get this letter saying that the Virginia Department of Corrections is prohibiting our current issue, on the failures of the drug war, from making it to prisoners because of our coverage of the drug war in Mexico. The story they cite is a really amazing tale of one reporter who braves the police and the cartels to tell the truth about Mexico’s violence, guns, and drugs; but there aren’t any tips on how to get out of jail therein. The pages the DOC letter references also include this illuminating map of drug cartel hotspots in the United States. Virginia does have a few of the 259 locales, but will inmates really be able to glean enough intel that the magazine “could be detrimental to the security and good order of the institution and rehabilitation of offenders”?

Lame.


Fact:

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  • Elizabeth Gettelman is a former managing editor and public affairs director at Mother Jones. To follow her on Twitter, click here.