MoJo Prison Issue Banned From Prisons

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We must be more street-smart than we thought here at Mother Jones. Apparently, our list of cellblock slang in the current issue was too realistic for actual prison censors. One would-be reader wrote us from Pickaway Correctional Institution in central Ohio after his copy of Mother Jones was confiscated because—according to the prison’s Notice of Withholding Printed Material—the article “appears to be written in cipher or code, or that instructs in the use of cipher or code.”

The magazine-less 73-year-old prisoner who wrote us reported “evidently, you are doing something right. Alas, I shall never know what it is, since the state of Ohio won’t deliver your July issue.” But he’s not going to just let it slide: “I intend to ask if they will deliver the magazine, after excising p. 59.” On the envelope he wrote: “First Amendment! First Amendment! First Amendment!”

Hopefully the censors will reconsider their definition of the First Amendment for our wanna-be reader, especially since they already allow books like The Hitler We Loved And Why in prison libraries.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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