Shockingly, American prisons may be just a tad draconian. Perhaps it would make sense to ban a couple of dangerous books, such as, "The Art of the Shiv: A Step-By-Step Guide To Constructing A Shiv Using Nothing But Book Bindings," or, "This Book Has A Gun In It." But the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has taken their book banning to a capricious extreme.
The Texas Civil Rights Project, who admittedly have a pro-civil rights bias, found that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has banned a number of acclaimed books, often targeting books that discuss social justice and civil rights. The guidelines for banning a book are somewhat vague, that allows prisons to ban books if they make, "a specific determination that the publication is detrimental to offenders' rehabilitation because it would encourage deviant criminal sexual behavior."
This appears to have given Texas prisons a great deal of freedom to ban a wide variety of books, including classics such as, Couples by John Updike, Big Sur by Jack Keroac, Satanic Verses by Salmon Rushdie, Deadeye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut, and the Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler. While there are many others, I'm not going to enumerate them at the risk of getting a flashback to the days of writing out long, painful book-shopping lists in college.