Before going any further I will point out that in the Butler County Prison's rules and regulations it is stated that if the warden deems ANY material as having a "negative effect on the prison" that any such material will be banned... in the end the warden's word is final and unquestionable. No matter what the content, if the warden decides the book would have a negative effect on the prison...he could disallow it, no questions asked. In all reality the warden answers to no one.
Please refer to BCP's actual page online @ http://www.co.butler.pa.us/butler/cwp/view.asp?a=1491&q=608492
During the beginning part of my most recent stay at the BCP, my homeboy Xade sent me a book through Amazon.com. The book, American Hardcore by Steven Blush is a self described "tribal history" of the genesis and progression of the american hardcore punk movement, cultural and musical. In the administration's words the book was denied due to content.
Upon receiving the book(or NOT receiving it really) I was directed by an officer to sign that I acknowledged that the book was inappropriate and would be placed in my personal property. I asked the officer why the book was not being allowed in and his reply was something to the effect of a captain had seen it and had determined that there were "gang affiliations" through out the book. By gang affiliations the captain was referring to the various anarchy symbols and swastikas used in early hardcore art work.
Not even getting into the full logistics of this...if the good captain would have taken on the task of familiarizing herself with the material within she would have seen that the swastikas were used in either an ironic or anti-nazi fashion, that white supremacists are NOT welcome in the hardcore scene and that these were symbols being used by rebellious youth, not a gang or seditious politial group.
Digressing a little here...After much contemplation I decided to file a grievance to at least plead my case, appeal to the intellect of the administration. I thought that I could explain to them that the book was about a cultural movement...one that was at best chaotic and dynamic, one that's ideation was not at all racist, but the opposite...most of all that the book was about music.
Long story short-I got the run around. The captain denied having any knowledge of the book saying that the decision was that of an officer in charge of books...the same officer said it definitely WAS the captain's decision and NOT his. With all my experience in correctional facilities I know that when admin is lying to you that the battle is over. Idealistically one could cry to a higher authority, get the ACLU involved, sue for infringement of some real or imagined constitutional right. But this is Butler County aka Hazzard County and they do as they please and ultimately answer to no one. At this point, I felt as if this battle was basically for naught. I now refer back to the 5th restriction designation in the above linked prison policy...that everything is at the warden's discretion.
There are so many directions I could go with this...the pure and willful arrogant ignorance of the prison admin, the hypocritical of policy that allows "ghetto fiction"(basically violent smut centered in worlds filled with cocaine dealers and gang members) books like Mein Kampf. Even going out on a limb and saying that NO book causes disruption to ANY institution...unruly inmates do, and will do so with or without reading material.
Again, I'm just a college drop out what do I know?