Tell CDCR What You Think About the Proposed Censorship Regulations

Under the guise of “obscenity” regulations, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has proposed sweeping new political censorship rules for mail going both into and out of the prisons. If these changes are approved, CDCR will permanently ban any documents it defines as "contraband," including political publications and correspondence that should be protected by First Amendment constitutional rights.

CDCR states that the purpose of these censorship rules are to forbid “publications that indicate an association with groups that are oppositional to authority and society.” This ominous language reveals the political underpinnings of the proposed changes. They are attempting to increase the political, mental and emotional isolation of people in solitary confinement struggling to resist an already crushing physical isolation.

The proposed regulations are designed with two main purposes: to censor writings that educate the public about what is actually occurring inside the prisons, and to stifle the intellectual and political education and organizing of prisoners themselves.

Please weigh in and speak out against these regulations.

For a comment to have impact it must address some aspect of the proposed regulations. To help craft a critique, please read a FACT SHEET prepared by PHSS and this powerful ARTICLE published in the SF Bay View, as well as an additional LEGAL ANALYSIS. Take an issue or two -or more- and express your feelings, it doesn’t have to be long or fancy, but it does have to talk about the new regulations.

A few pointers:

  • Be specific. Citing specific sections of the code. (For example: "Subsection 3006(c)(19)" would violate journalist's first amendment rights" instead of saying "These changes are bad.")
  • Ask questions. Even better is if your critique asks specific questions, which is more likely to get a response than a statement alone.
  • Change the "subject" of the email to a unique title. This helps keep the emails from being bundled together.

The public comment period is open now; it closes June 17, 2014 at 5 PM.