New York City Suspends Program That Would Have Limited Prisoners’ Access to Books, Food From Outside

Contributed books for Arkansas Department of Correction libraries. Image: AP Images.

New York state has actually suspended a pilot program that would have seriously minimal detainees’ capability to get care bundles from the outdoors– limiting whatever from fresh food to tee shirts to books.

New Program Would Restrict New York Prisoners’ Access to All But the Dumbest Books

New York State has actually introduced a brand-new “program” that would seriously restrict among the couple of earthly …

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ThinkProgress reported previously on Directive 4911 A, an experiment in 3 New York jails allegedly suggested to “enhance the safety and security of correctional facilities through a more controlled inmate package program.” Those within might just get products purchased from 6 authorized suppliers– absolutely nothing else from relative or nonprofits like Books Through Bars, which slammed the policy. And exactly what could they get? Via ThinkProgress:

The very first 5 suppliers integrated provided simply 5 love books, 14 spiritual texts, 24 illustration or coloring books, 21 puzzle books, 11 how-to books, one dictionary, and one thesaurus. Recently, the state appeared to include a 6th supplier, however the complete brochure does not seem readily available to individuals in jail in the state, and the guv’s workplace did not react to concerns about the addition.

Prisons have libraries that do essential work making a broad range of reading products readily available, however the program would have eliminated another opportunity for the put behind bars to obtain their hands on particular books. And putting up barriers in between books and detainees appears downright vicious, particularly when “one 2013 study found that people who participate in correctional education programs while incarcerated had a 43 percent lower odds recidivating than those who did not,” a New York Times piece explained.

The limitations weren’t merely on books, either, however likewise on products like food and clothes. And when you took a look at the price, as the New York Times did, the program looked suspiciously like a method to milk the jail system for money:

But a take a look at the brochures released online revealed inflated rates on popular products. One supplier was offering a plan of Oreo cookies for more than $5, compared with around $3 at a regional warehouse store or mass merchant. Another supplier was offering a single plain T-shirt for $10, despite the fact that numerous shops offer whole bulk bundles for less, stated Caroline Hsu, a personnel lawyer at the Legal Aid Society. Suppliers might likewise charge shipping and handling costs.

In the face of public protest, ThinkProgress reported that Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed the suspension of the program.

This isn’t really a separated occurrence, either. The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision informed Think Progress in their preliminary declaration that, “Secure vendor programs are used by nearly 30 jurisdictions in the country and are cited as a national best practice.” And even as the New York State story was unfolding, the New York Times likewise reported that New Jersey had actually raised its restriction on The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness— that is, after the ACLU got included.

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