New York state made a new announcement about two new policies.
As reported on news sources, NY is prohibiting families and people from sending care packages to inmates. Under the new policy, friends and family will no longer be able to deliver packages in person during prison visits, NBC reports. According to the report, the only way people can send care packages is if it comes directly from third-party vendors.
They will still be able to order snacks, like a snicker or a bag of Doritos, online. However, not home cooked meals.
State prisons in NY are testing a program that blocks inmates from receiving letter mail. Instead, correctional officers will scan the letters, and prisoners will get a copy. The change is necessary to combat “a trend of people soaking letters in drugs to smuggle past authorities”. In 2019, federal prisons began a similar practice.
New York’s Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said in a statement that the two new policies are needed to stop contraband. Contraband gets smuggled into jails, including “books laced with heroin, weapons and unauthorized electronics like phones hidden in packages, and letter mail soaked in drugs like methamphetamine or a synthetic cannabinoid, also known as K2,” the article reports.
When packages are sent to NYS prisons, officers inspect them. They’re allowed to open the box for further inspection if there’s any reason for suspicion. However, the checks “aren’t perfect,” items slip through, and sometimes corrupt staff is why.
“My husband basically thinks this is one more way to deprive him of his basic necessities,” a family member of an inmate told the news. The report also says over 60 families of inmates sent grievance letters to New York Assembly member David Weprin.