Prison Censors Impound Reason Because It 'Presents a Threat' to 'Security, Good Order, or Discipline'

A Florida inmate can't read his copy of the magazine this month. Can you?


As Reason subscribers around the country were settling in to peruse the new issue of the magazine this week, one reader wasn't so lucky.

A Florida prison has impounded our current issue. The stated reasons: "(3)(a) It depicts of describes procedures for the construction or use of weapons, ammunitions, bombs, chemical agents, or incendiary devices" and also "(3)(m) It otherwise presents a threat to the security, good order, or discipline of the correctional system or the safety of any person." We received notice at our Los Angeles office that the issue was now in administrative limbo earlier this week.

What was the offending story, you might ask? Has Reason become the newest incarnation of The Anarchist Cookbook? Hardly. Page 8 of the magazine contained a small infographic on popular accessories for AR-15s by Jason Keisling. To be clear, Keisling did not offer instructions for how to construct an AR-15 from ramen noodles and plastic sporks nor strategy on how to use one to kill a warden; the piece offered some snack-sized tidbits about how the military firearm's many interchangeable accessories accounted for some of its popularity with civilians.

We're terribly sorry that our incarcerated subscriber isn't able to see the infographic. He's also missing out on Matt Welch's great cover story on the major parties' fiscal fantasies, Shikha Dalmia's foray into the politics of two of America's most Muslim cities, and Tate Watkins' insider account of Haiti's dysfunctional coffee industry.

But you know who else probably can't see a bunch of that stuff? You! Unless you subscribe to our print or digital edition, you have no better access to our amazing content than a man trapped in a cage.

Celebrate your freedom. Subscribe today!


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  1. How to Defend Yourself Against Fresh Fruit (Sushi)?

    1. I think this was covered in a Monty Python sketch where Palin kept blathering on about fruit attacks. I believe it was a parody about civil defense – Eric Idle kept asking “what about pointy sticks?”

      1. Yes – I was hoping someone would tie that in…

        “simply pull the lever, releasing the tiger…”

          1. How have I never seen this gem before???

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  2. I hope the Florida State Police have confiscated all copies from the newsstands. You can’t be too careful.

    1. Cold Dead Hands!!!!!

    2. Oh, they wish they could, Brooksie, they wish they could.

    3. The editors do well to avoid any insidious “parody” of academic deans and dons, because they could easily end up being prosecuted too. See the documentation of America’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

  3. I’m going to guess that if you dug deep into all the materials that prisons censor, you’d probably be pretty shocked.

    On that note, in the spirit of Jesse’s Friday A/V club, here’s a pretty excellent video of actual WWI footage with War-of-the-worlds aliens attacking, CGI’d in. Very well done.

  4. Just so y’all know, my wife got a letter returned for possible pornography or nudity featuring our 2 year old in pajama bottoms, no shirt and sunglasses.

    Also, same inmate cannot receive a paper at his institution because the address label at the paper can’t fit the characters of the full name of the institution on the label, so the prison just rejects it. The FLDOC mail room is basically made up of a bunch of assholes who don’t want inmates getting mail.

    1. I rather objected to the idea that those fucking pervert guards had become aroused looking at my son.

      1. You were the one who had the possibly bogus ‘papers being served’ scam caller? You ever get that resolved/stopped?

        1. No. If some one told me they had papers to serve me, I’d give’em the Layer Cake thing.

          “Listen, come on over to my house and we’ll talk about it. I’ll order a pizza and some beer and we’ll figure this out. Do you know where I live? No? Well then fuck off.”

      2. Your son? After reading the first message, I figured it must have been of your daughter – we can’t have photos of topless females, can we? But regardless, the guards presumably would say that they weren’t aroused, but they suspected some prisoners might be.

    2. Not just the Florida DOC. All DOCs are staffed by equivalent assholes.

      1. ^^^THIS has been my experience

  5. I wonder if it’s one of the disappeared commentarians in this Florida prison. Perhaps Tulpa? Maybe he writes in deliberately stupid comments on the articles with his own feces. Or maybe the real* Florida Man? Because as everyone knows by now, Florida Hipster is an impostor formerly known as Georgia Man, always longing for a taste of the notoriety belonging to his Florida cousin.

  6. “Presents a Threat” to “Security, Good Order, or Discipline”

    Not as good as Pot, Ass Sex and Mexicans, but still a damn fine slogan. Thank the prison and use it as a rallying cry next fundraising cycle?

    1. I prefer Mexican ass and sexpots.

  7. It’s enough to make you not even want to go to prison.

    1. I go to visit several times a year. Last time, I just stood in lines around guards who weren’t evil people, they just didn’t give a fuck. And I get the sense that the visitation guards that the non-prisoners get to interact with are the most personable of the shift workers. I am definitely not made for standing in line and jumping when the boss says hop.

  8. Keisling did not offer instructions for how to construct an AR-15 from ramen noodles


  9. “It depicts of describes procedures for the construction or use of weapons”

    Et tu, KMW?

  10. Meanwhile, I don’t think they bother even *trying* to get H&R comment threads into the prisons.

  11. “(3)(a) It depicts of describes procedures for the construction or use of weapons, ammunitions, bombs, chemical agents, or incendiary devices” and also “(3)(m) It otherwise presents a threat to the security, good order, or discipline of the correctional system or the safety of any person.”

    I hope nobody tells them a magazine (any magazine- even the New Yorker!) itself may be used as a weapon.

    1) Roll magazine into a cylinder as tightly as possible
    2) Jab target in throat or strike forcefully at base of skull

    1. 3. Hire semiliterate dropout actor to rip out gas pipe, cram mag in toaster, push down the toast lever and blow up the ‘hood.

  12. Tate Watkins insider account of why Haiti’s dysfunctional coffee industry.

    I give up.


  13. No Reason, it is just Department of Corrections policy.

  14. OK, so . . . why did they send *you guys* the notice? This seems like something only the prisoner needs and that a publication – unless it was one the specifically caters to inmates – wouldn’t really care why. Its not like Reason’s going to stop taking subscriptions from prisoners on the off-chance that one of the facilities will block the receipt of the mag.

  15. Gotta say that the most offensive part of this is probably the referenced info-graphic. Pretty remarkably uninformative. 84% of owners have at least one accessory on their rifle? What does that include? If the labeled parts are accessories, then 100% of owners have at least one accessory. If they’re not, why were those pieces labeled. 81% have slings? Assuming that’s the case, then saying 84% of AR15 owners have at least one accessory is pretty pointless. Having a sling certainly doesn’t make it any different from any other rifle. 76% have a soft carrying case? Does that count towards the 84% with at least one accessory *on* their rifle? Have a soft carrying case doesn’t make it any different from any other rifle. 68% have a mounted scope? First, I find that hard to believe. Second, still no different from any other rifle.

    Not much info there. Let alone info that would be useful to a prisoner. Not just would it not tell the prisoner how to make a gun from ramen noodles. It wouldn’t tell the prisoner anything even if he had AR15 parts in his hands.

  16. RE: Prison Censors Impound Reason Because It ‘Presents a Threat’ to ‘Security, Good Order, or Discipline’

    Well, who can deny the logical reasoning behind the prison for ensuring one of their inmates does not a capitalist rag like Reason? Such publications should not only be denied the convicted but for everyone in our beloved socialist slave state. Reason pollutes the mind of the naive by demonstrating the political and economic follies of The State, insists upon a true free market and the elimination of the wasteful, useless and unnecessary government entities that our obvious betters have so kindly implemented for their own good at the expense of the lowly plebian class. Such writings will only produce doubters that will in turn create confusion, anger and frustration at a socio-economic political state that ensures the stability of the status quo that favors the ruling political elite. Such concepts in this horrific magazine can only produce ill will and resentment among the hoi poiloi in our country. Therefore, for the sake of the collective and our ruling elitist turds to oppress us all, it would be more than prudent to eradicate this publication to ensure peace, tranquility and further suppression for all our own good.
    Let the bonfires of censorship begin!

  17. …Keisling did not offer instructions for how to construct an AR-15 from ramen noodles and plastic sporks…

    Ramen noodles and plastic sporks?


  18. Back when Reason had cojones (Nick would’ve been about nine) I gave a subscription to a fishing buddy. He liked everything in it but expected to be put on watch lists and phonetaps by the FBI, CIA, GOP and PIGS.

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