PEEK

Mail Is A Fundamental Right

Didn't we even let the Nazis at Nuremberg have their mail?
One more way that the criminal (in)justice system is whittling away at the small pleasures in life for the incarcerated in a Florida county: now their loved ones have to write extra teeny tiny. That's because now, based on a new directive, they will only be allowed to receive postcards. No S.W.A.K. allowed.

Here's more:
Pictures will have to be printed on postcards, and envelopes won’t be allowed, unless they contain legal correspondence.
Capt. Tom Eberhardt, assistant commander of corrections services, said the new policy is in response to the biohazard threat that locked down Charlotte County Jail last month when a mail clerk fell ill after opening a letter containing a white powdered substance.
“That’s happening more and more in the country because of the times we’re living in,” Eberhardt said. “We’re doing this for the safety and security of the staff and the inmates.”
As acallidryas says in her post (linked above), this is a serious overreaction. There's no indication that the white powder was a biohazard and the jail has already strengthened its mail-checking procedures. For many people, the letters from home and the pictures contained in them are the most frequent and strongest connection to home. Nevermind that many incarcerated men and women participate in correspondence courses (how's THAT going work?).
Bean is a third-year law student in New York City. Her blogging focuses on the intersections of criminal justice, reproductive rights, gender equality, and drug policy.
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