Missouri prison officials censor London news magazine

Photo used under a Creative Commons license courtesy ThisParticularGreg

By Joe Lambe

The Economist news magazine in the Aug. 24 edition warns readers in Missouri prisons that they probably did not see the June 29 issue.

The Missouri Department of Corrections censored it.

It was because a story on the Supreme Court’s recent rulings on race included a picture of a Klansman holding a noose, the article reports.

That was “to remind readers what race relations were like before the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” it says, but censors though it might instill “violence or hatred among the offender population.”

The article states: “Security trumps readers’ rights, fair enough. But why didn’t prison officials simply cut out the offending picture?”

David Owen, a spokesman for Missouri corrections, said their policy is to censor entire publications in such cases.

The magazine headquartered in London speculated on why with a poke at prisons in the United States.

Some 17 years ago, an inmate denied copies of another magazine asked a court about the scissors solution and the censors won, with a ruling that such a procedure would be too expensive.

“America spends $80,000,000,000 on incarceration each year; a pair of scissors costs $2,” the article states.

No word on how many Missouri prisoners subscribe to the Economist.

Comments are closed.