They don’t advertise it, but a classified list of banned books exists behind the walls of Virginia prisons. The Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) secretly has forbidden prisoner access to a long list of books (partially named below), many of which seem innocuous.
Exclusive to The Schilling Show, in his own hand, a concerned Virginia DOC inmate pleads for outside assistance in resolving what he refers to as “crude” censorship and a possible internal violation of book-banning protocol:
Allow me to thank you and your staff for their effort on behalf of the prisoners of the Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) concerning the prisoners’ First Amendment rights, specially the freedom of the press.
If not for the actions of yourselves and apparently a few others, including The Quest Institute, the DOC would most likely ban the prisoners from receiving or having access to the great majority of printed material available.
As you may know, the DOC has what is known as the Banned Publications List (BPL). Materials on this list are placed there because of supposed “security concerns“ or are of an “offensive manner“. The DOC’s guidelines allegedly state that the publishers and authors of these banned materials have been notified of the banning and the cause for same. This has not been the case.
In addition, the DOC apparently now has a new tactic to prevent the prisoners, some 35,000+ of them, from having access to books.
The DOC has libraries at their major facilities. Said libraries are operated by the Virginia Department of of Correctional Education (DCE), part of the DOC. The libraries are part of the schools at each location. The libraries come under an administrator in Richmond known as the Library Coordinator. This person has control our the library material for all of the DOC’s prisons.
A Ms. R. Bibbens is the Library Coordinator. She has now taken it upon herself to bar the DCE Libraries from purchasing books that are not on the DOC’s BPL. Apparently, the books she bans do not meet her personal standards, as no other reason is given. Please remember, these works are not on the DOC’s official Banned Publications List.
This would appear to be just another way of the DOC practicing censorship in its crudest form. Many of the books she has banned are by some of the best selling and renown authors of the country. I have enclosed a partial list of the works she has banned for your perusal.
Sir, is there anything that you can do to stop this censorship from taking place? One would think that officials in the DOC would be glad that the prisoners want to read instead of possibly taking part in other less desirable activities.
Thank you for any assistance that you may be able to render these people without a voice.
xxx xxxxxxx (Identity withheld to protect the source)
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