The Oregon Department of Corrections has banned prisoners from reading a number of books related to technology and programming, citing concerns about security.
At least in official department code, there is no blanket ban on technology-related books.
Many programming-related books are cited as “material that threatens,” often including the subject matter (“computer programming”) as justification.
But how did books such as Windows 10 for Dummies, Microsoft Excel 2016 for Dummies, and Google Adsense for Dummies (marked as posing "clear and present danger"), fail the prison’s security test?.
Lack of access to skills or education, by contrast, is a big driver of putting people back in prison.
“Prison officials tend to be overzealous in their banning, and often err on the side of banning,” said Emerson Sykes, staff attorney at the ACLU.
“It speaks to an underlying approach that focuses on the punitive nature of incarceration rather than a rehabilitation approach.”. »