Prison agency rescinds censorship policy after New York Focus reporting


The New York state prison agency rescinded rules blocking incarcerated writers and artists from publishing their work Wednesday, a day after New York Focus exposed the policy.

A May 11 directive established a stringent, months-long approval process for people in New York state prisons to publish creative work — including books, art, music, poetry, film scripts, and other writing — outside prison walls. The policy gave prison superintendents the power to block publication of work that violated any of a number of broad rules — including portraying the prison department in a way that could “jeopardize safety or security.” It also prohibited incarcerated people from getting paid for their creative work.

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