GCLR Statement Regarding Ban on Non-English Languages in Michigan Prisons

Declaración en español, aquí.

Kauli ya Kiswahili hapa.


A news story published on June 2 by NPR has revealed that prison officials in the US state of Michigan are currently banning books in Swahili and Spanish. Furthermore, when speaking to Dr Anna Belew from the Endangered Languages Project, Kyle Kaminski, head of Legislative Liaison for the Michigan Department of Corrections, confirmed that this ban extends to all non-English languages, including Indigenous languages such as Anishinaabemowin.


The Global Coalition for Language Rights condemns this violation of language rights. We defend language rights for everyone, including incarcerated people.


We encourage members of the coalition and concerned members of the public to contact the Michigan Department of Corrections, in whatever language you can, to express your outrage about this violation of language rights. Contact details of relevant officials are as follows:

To familiarize yourself with the details of the case, and learn more about further actions you can take, please see the following links:

  • Original story from NPR: tinyurl.com/yc7833t7

  • Twitter thread from Dr Anna Belew: tinyurl.com/bdha733e

  • Michigan Abolition and Prisoner Solidarity phone zap: tinyurl.com/2p8nn7st

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