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National

BOP backs down on the restrictive book policy

[handbasketnotes.blogspot.com 5/5/18]

Good news. The federal Bureau of Prisons has rescinded the policy changes that would have made it more expensive and more difficult for inmates to receive books.

Ann E. Marimow at the Washington Post reports:

The restrictions were already in place in facilities in Virginia and California and were set to start this month at a prison in Florida.

Under the rules, inmates in at least four facilities were required to order books only through a prison-approved vendor and, at three of the prisons, to pay an extra 30 percent markup.

The reversal came after two days’ of inquiries from The Washington Post asking about the vendor, the markup and the rationale for the restriction.

Prison officials said in an email Thursday that the bureau had rescinded the memos and will review the policy to “ensure we strike the right balance between maintaining the safety and security of our institutions and inmate access to correspondence and reading materials.”

Officials declined to identify the vendor and explain the costs added to the book purchase prices.

A “review” should not be necessary to decide that inmate access to correspondence and reading material is essential.

Read more

 

Join the discussion

  1. The Static-99R Is A Scam

    When I was incarcerated, CDCR did the same thing in that its policies seemed designed to keep inmates “dumbed-down” and kept in the dark. Books were limited to certain vendors. There were long delays in the delivery of books. Often, several weeks after they are ordered, the books were delivered torn apart and covers removed.

    Classes were limited to GED. Correspondence college classes and degrees were made nearly impossible to attain (i.e. state only covered tuition; but books cost several hundred dollars, with proctors made incredibly difficult to schedule with). The state waivers only covered A.A. degrees. There were no A.S., and certainly no B.A./B.S. and/or higher level degrees.

    Computers were old. Computer programs were dated from the late 1990s. Vocational courses were a complete joke. Instructors were not qualified and stayed in their offices for most of the day. At the same time, many of those instructors (as well as guards) snuck contraband into the prison for the inmates (for a fee from people from the “outside” of course). It was a really sick thing to witness. And it really demonstrated how dirty and irredeemable CDCR really is. The whole system is just too corrupt and dirty–which is why it wasn’t surprising to see CDCR ignoring the judge’s order that arose from Janice’s lawsuit.

    The prison industrial system is designed to profit. From the books… all the way to the $25 telephone calls to home. Heck, I even remember those overpriced “packages” that were limited to three vendors (rumor had it that each of the vendors were owned by CDCR officers). There were also food drives. The food drives were offered by local restaurants *ALSO* owned by CDCR staff. If I recall correctly, a single medium pizza during those food drives cost about $20. A Subway sandwich was $12. Also, during visits, I remember those overpriced vending machines in which a soda cost $4 (which put Disneyland to shame). A gas station quality hamburger was $10!

    The whole system is designed to ripoff both families, as well as the very people it is supposed to ‘rehabilitate.’ The registry further proves that the system is not designed to prevent recidivism. The registry is designed to enrich the few at the top (i.e. those with business interests), while also helping the political careers of those who wish to use the registry to their political advantage.

    It’s all quite sick.

    • Eric

      Typical.

    • bob

      I remember the same BS in tehachapi, the so called FOOD Drives that were a RIP off charging outrageous prices on the fast food and soda…. supposedly for a anon groups to get $, I doubt it , it was just for profit ans the freaking food was COLD at that !

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