Banning the book: Pennsylvania DOC faces backlash over recent policy change

"Books are not contraband!"

Cherri Gregg
September 14, 2018 - 8:02 pm



PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania is considering legal action against the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections after the agency banned shipment of all books to state prisons.  

 Under the new policy mail will be sent to a central facility to be scanned by prison officials, and all books shipments to inmates are banned indefinitely.

"This is an important avenue of communication with the outside world," Vic Walczak , the Legal Director for the ACLU of PA.

Walczak argues that the new policy violates impacts inmate’s first amendment rights

“There is just no way to safe guard confidentiality under these new procedures, when you are talking about legal communications,” he said.

The policy change comes after a number of prison officials were sickened by smuggled contraband.

"Books are not contraband," said Keir Neuringer.

Neuringer, who volunteers at Books Through Bars, says he wants citizens to sign a petition opposing the new policy call Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, and more.

"On October 2 there's a big rally in Harrisburg," he said.