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ACLU prepares to sue Pa. prisons over new mail policy

October 2, 2018

A file photo of Camp Hill, a Pennsylvania state prison.

By Staff

Ever since the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections announced a new, unprecedented policy for handling legal mail — part of a wide-ranging crackdown meant to stanch the flow of drugs into state prisons — criminal and civil lawyers who represent inmates have been in panic mode.

Many, including staff lawyers with the Pennsylvania ACLU, the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project, and private firms, said they can no longer ethically send confidential documents to clients, given the potential for exposure in the DOC’s new protocol. Before, staff opened legal mail in the presence of inmates, searched it for contraband and handed it over; now they photocopy it, still in the inmate’s presence, pass on the copy, and preserve the original for 45 days.

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http://www.philly.com/philly/news/pennsylvania-department-corrections-aclu-legal-mail-inmates-k2-synthetic-cannabinoids-20181002.html

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