More Than 200 Books on Race and Criminal Justice Removed From an Illinois Prison

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More than 200 books, many of them on race, criminal justice, and history, were removed from Illinois’ Danville Correctional Center.

Staff removed the books from the prison’s library in January when the correctional center also cut ties with the Education Justice Project (EJP), a college in prison program offering classes from the University of Illinois to incarcerated men. Rebecca Ginsburg, who directs the EJP, told NPR Illinois that she felt sick when she learned that prison staff had removed the books.

Among the titles removed were various books by historian Henry Louis Gates Jr., abolitionist Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, and Jacqueline Woodson’s children’s book Visiting Day, which discusses visiting a parent in prison. Most of the books removed from EJP’s library deal with race, historical accounts from formerly enslaved people, and criminal justice. “Somehow, a lot of books…

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