April 29, 2018

New Federal Prison Policies May Put Books and Email on Ice (In Justice Today)

Now, prisoners instead will have to submit a request to purchase books — a limit of five per order — through an ordering system in which they must pay exorbitant prices and don’t have the option to buy cheaper used paperbacks. In addition, prisoners must pay a 30 percent tax plus shipping cost, according to prisoners and memos distributed in at least three BOP facilities. Under the new protocol, a book purchased from Amazon for as little as $11.76, with shipping included, could cost more than $26....

An inmate’s contact list may not possess another inmate’s immediate family member, friend, or contact located on the inmate’s approved list,”... adding it will make exceptions for attorneys, clerks of the court, and other contacts approved on a case-by-case basis.”...

Advocates say that the rule will cut off prisoners from communicating with advocates, pen pals, family members, friends, and journalists who are in touch with multiple prisoners in one facility.

This will prevent us from assisting prisoners or learning about the very abuses we are discussing now,” Povah said. It’s as if they want to cut prisoners off from the outside world altogether.”


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