Maine’s Inmate Journalism Ban Killed
The proposed prison regulation prohibiting inmate journalism disappeared from the latest update. It would not have withstood that scrutiny anyway. There is federal precedent, established in 1974, that upholds inmates’ free speech to give interviews. Writing published newspaper columns or blogging, as I’ve tried to do (achieving double digit readership J ), could not have been distinguished as speech different from an interview. The whole endeavor was more effort to insulate inmates, continue oppression, sabotage rehabilitation and hide the corrupt practices of our prison system.
The vacuous claim in ‘74’ for censorship was, that an interviewed inmate achieves ‘big wheel status” and thereby threatens operation. I’ll skip the prevailing counter-argument re: inmates’ free speech rights and state that prison status comes exclusively from violence—real or perceived. Our government, as the exclusive arbiter of legal coercion, knows this. They are the ultimate “big wheel” extortionists. How much coerced behavior have you carried out in your life? More than voluntary behavior?
The whole play was naked reversal bullshit…”Oh no, any first person exposure of prison life will unbalance the fragile slave trade, by way of an imbalance of slave social status.” I have 100 examples of these feigned ignorance, bureaucratic, deliberately deceptive, and pusillanimous, cheap shot power plays. [Read any issue of Prison Legal News for 50 examples.] Even as a life-long doormat I cannot take any more. Excessive tolerance excessively exceeded.
Latest personal example: I have had to file suit against the Colorado Dept. of Corrections just simply to “apply” for interstate corrections compact (transfer to Maine). No one is denied application to a statutory (i.e. law that DOC has to at least pretend to honor) right; except me.
Authorities conceptually inserted their own additional wording into the statute for the sake of misinterpretation in order to deny my even applying. It is not up to that particular authority to interpret the law/statute. Their denial read like a bribe solicitation.
I’ll write more about the 100 feigned ignorance, bureaucratic, deliberately deceptive and pusillanimous, cheap shot power plays, later.
Case citation: Saxbe v. Washington Post Co., 417 U.S. 43 (1974)