“There is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness, because embracing our brokenness creates a need and desire for mercy, and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy. When you experience mercy, you learn things that are hard to learn otherwise. You see things you can’t otherwise see; you hear things you can’t otherwise hear. You begin to recognize the humanity that resides in each of us.” – Goodreads
Image Via Amazon
One of the most powerful books, Just Mercy, reached theaters on Christmas Day. While we find ourselves diving deep into the prison systems, those incarcerated are unable to share the same thrills. Among many other books, Just Mercy has been banned from some prisons as books, like this one can be, under the arbitrary rules that exclude books on civil rights.
Just Mercy “tells the story of Walter McMillian, who was released from Alabama’s death row in 1993 after serving six years for a murder he did not commit.” Due to the content of the book, Just Mercy is a threat to security, as many that are incarcerated can involve an uproar. This is why courts have approved to keep books that pose any threat out of prison walls. Prison systems, usually, ban books that are written by black authors, like that of James Baldwin, Malcolm X, Alex Haley, Toni Morrison, and Michelle Alexander.
Image Via The New York Times
America’s jails and prisons are prone to censor any vital information that is related to any civil or human rights. This may come as no surprise, but “the banned books lists in many states – including Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Ohio, South Carolina, and Washington – do not include reasons for barring each title.” Kansas and North Carolina were among the state prison systems that banned Just Mercy, but lifted the ban after objections were made.
Many of the prison systems have been criticized for the lack of rehabilitation to prepare them for the real world. They have become so focused on censoring everything from the outside, that they forget about providing them with tools on how to live outside of the prison walls.
Featured Image Via The New York Times
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