State of New York, Department of Correctional Services

NYSDOCS Directive 4572 Media Review (Last updated 10/02/2000)

The directive, in section II. Standards, lists guidelines A. through H. by which literature for inmates will be evaluated.

II. STANDARDS. The Department adopts the following guidelines by which literature for inmates will be evaluated.

A. In general, the materials must be acceptable for regular mailing according to United States postal law and regulations.

B. Publications which contain child pornography or which promote a sexual performance of a child in violation of Penal Law Article 263 are unacceptable. Publications which, taken as a whole, by the average person applying contemporary community standards, appeal to prurient interest, and which depict or describe in a patently offensive way sexual bestiality, sadism, masochism, necrophilia or incest, and which taken as a whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value are obscene and are unacceptable.

C. The publication should not incite violence based on race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, creed, or nationality. "Incite violence," for purposes of this guideline, means to advocate, expressly or by clear implication, acts of violence.

D. Any publication which advocates and presents a clear and immediate risk of lawlessness, violence, anarchy, or rebellion against governmental authority is unacceptable.

E. The publication should not incite disobedience towards law enforcement officers or prison personnel. "Incite disobedience," for purposes of this guideline, means to advocate, expressly or by clear implication, acts of disobedience.

F. The publication should not give instruction in the use or manufacture of firearms, explosives, and other weapons, or depict or describe their manufacture. Mere depictions of the use of hunting and/or military weapons which reasonably would not affect the safety and/or security of the facility are not prohibited.

G. The publication should not provide instruction by word(s) or picture(s) regarding martial arts skills. Martial arts includes, but is not limited to, aikido, jujitsu, judo, karate, kung fu, and tai chi chu'an. Publications which discuss martial arts without providing instruction are acceptable.

H. The publication should not:

1. Contain information which appears to be written in code; or
2. Depict or describe methods of lock picking; or
3. Depict or describe methods of escape from correctional facilities; or
4. Depict or describe procedures for the brewing of alcoholic beverages or the manufacture of drugs or use of illegal drugs; or
5. Depict or describe methods or procedures for smuggling prison contraband; or
6. Depict or describe techniques or methods for rioting and/or information instructive in hostage or riot negotiation techniques.

NO. 4572 Media Review
DATE 08/29/1996 PAGE 2 OF 7