[Ed. – Selective censorship]
The nearly 150,000 inmates in Texas prisons are barred from using Facebook, possessing cellphones and receiving snacks in the mail. They are also prohibited from reading the pop-up edition of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “The Color Purple” and the 1908 Sears, Roebuck catalog.
The publications are among the 10,000 titles banned by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, a list that includes best sellers like “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “A Time to Kill” and even obscure works, such as the “MapQuest Road Atlas.” Not banned: “Mein Kampf” by Adolf Hitler and books by white nationalists, including David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard.
Security at the roughly 50 state prisons across Texas extends beyond barbed-wire fences and cell-by-cell searches to include the careful reading of every book and magazine sent to inmates. The reviews are conducted not by guards but rather by mailroom staff members who skim the pages looking for graphic sexual content and material that could help inmates make a weapon, plot an escape or stir disorder.