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

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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.


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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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