After Pa. prisons crack down on books to stop drug smuggling, Twitter calls BS

September 18, 2018

Pennsylvania state prison file art.

By Staff

In the past few weeks, protesters have assailed the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections’ strict new policies on inmate mail and books, including a $4 million contract with a Florida company to scan and forward incoming mail and the prohibition of direct donations from organizations like Books Through Bars.

Now, legal advocates are urging the prison system to rethink its new plans for handling legal mail — in which staff would photocopy mail in the inmate’s presence, then retain the original in a sealed envelope for up to a month before destroying it. In a letter to the DOC dated Sept. 18, attorneys from the Pennsylvania ACLU, the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project and the Abolitionist Law Center said the policy was “indefensible,” the most intrusive in the country, and a violation of attorney-client confidentiality.

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