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Article profiles Florida DOC banned book list obtained by HRDC, July 25, 2019.

(Can't) book 'em! Florida's banned reading list


The Human Rights Defense Center has received an extensive list of books and magazines currently banned by Florida prisons as “a threat to security.”

Publications banned by Florida prisons include self-help guides for prisoners, Stephen Colbert’s America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t, coloring books and a Klingon dictionary.


Prominent on the list of censored publications are titles with relevance to the experience and needs of people who are incarcerated in Florida. As this list demonstrates, prisons improperly broaden the use of “threats to security” to include information that could help prisoners understand their experiences with incarceration or seek political or legal help. Moreover, books that discuss or criticize brutality, corruption, misconduct and racism in the criminal justice system in general and prisons in particular are singled out for censorship. Issues of two monthly magazines published by HRDC, Prison Legal News and Criminal Legal News, appear multiple times and have been banned in Florida prisons for over a decade. Also banned are:

The Disciplinary Self-Help Litigation Manual, a comprehensive reference book to educate prisoners about their rights in prison disciplinary hearings

The Federal Prison Handbook, written by a former federal prisoner and intended as an insider’s view to successfully guide prisoners through the federal prison system

23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement, Keramet Reiter’s lauded examination of the increased use of solitary confinement

Among other publications improperly banned by the Florida Department of Corrections due to alleged security threats:


Dictionary of Computer and Internet Terms

Danish: A Complete Guide for Beginners

Exotic Chickens: Coloring for Everyone: A Fun Anti-stress Coloring Book

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons

The Human Rights Defense Center in Lake Worth, Florida, is a nonprofit dedicated to protecting human rights in U.S. detention facilities.

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