Not long ago, we reported on the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) rejecting packets of updates and announcements that we send to prisoners every other week. One prisoner in particular, Daniel McGowan, has consistently been denied these packets. As a result, NYC Anarchist Black Cross receives rejection forms from the BOP. These are typically boilerplate forms, with some note about the correspondence being “detrimental to the security, good order, and discipline of the institution.” However, in June, the form was slightly different and so was the reasoning for the material being returned.
The form had a list of unauthorized materials with boxes next to each to be checked. According to the BOP, we sent in “Other (specify below).” In the notes section read the following:
“CORRESPONDENCE INCLUDES MATERIAL WHICH CONTAINED UPDATES FOR POLITICAL PRISONERS.”
Of course this struck us as odd, considering that the BOP, and the entire United States government for that matter, consistently denies the existence of political prisoners in this country. You can download the entire document here.
So which is it, BOP? Are you imprisoning our comrades based on their politics and political actions? Or does the Bureau regularly hire incompetents like Correctional Systems Officer J. Gregg, who signed off on this rejection? We’re guessing it’s a little from column A and a little from column B.