Letters / On the Rest Issue coloring book

I’m writing from Warren Correctional Institution in Manson, North Carolina to share some of the wisdom of the state prison system. Jewish Currents’s 2022 Rest issue coloring book is considered a threat to order, security, and safety because some of the illustrations include nudity, and so it’s been disallowed. I just received the final determination after I appealed the decision. The coloring book therefore joins a list of banned publications that includes socialist, communist, anti-racist, and anti-fascist publications, but also anything about Malcolm X, 12 Years a Slave, Prison Legal News, Earth First, even anatomy and exercise books. It includes anyone who is critical of the current bankrupt system or trying to educate prisoners, whether it’s in political consciousness or health, civil rights, or minority spiritual practices. Not much can be done about this: North Carolina doesn’t have many people working on progressive issues and the few that are can’t tackle much.

I cannot receive personal mail at the address given, just publications, so please don’t waste a stamp to respond; I won’t get it. Due to drugs being sprayed on mail, all personal mail has to go to a contracted third party in Maryland to be scanned, and most mail sent there never makes it to us.

Keep up the great work. I’ve always loved Jewish Currents. Been reading since back when Morris Schappes was at the helm.

Yisroel Azariah
Warren Correctional Institution, North Carolina