No More Care Packages for Incarcerated Individuals in New York
According to a report by Maysoon Khan of The Associated Press, New York has restricted package deliveries to incarcerated individuals to combat illegal drugs and other contraband in state prisons.
Incarcerated individuals will no longer be able to receive packages directly from friends or family either by mail or in person. All packages delivered to incarcerated individuals will have to come directly from a third-party vendor. For those incarcerated individuals, that means no more personalized care packages with home-cooked food from loved ones.
According to Khan's report, the New York State Department of Corrections and Community stated that the new mail policies are necessary to stop contraband from entering the prison system.
This report comes just days after Governor Kathy Hochul's office announced that justice-involved individuals in New York would be referred to as "incarcerated individuals" rather than "inmates" in an attempt to minimize the stigma and dehumanization that incarcerated individuals face.
Incarcerated individuals will also no longer be allowed to receive outside letters while in prison, Instead, letters will be scanned by the prison and incarcerated individuals will receive a copy in an effort to curb the smuggling of illegal drugs and contraband in the letter itself. According to the report, some letters are soaked in illegal drugs before being sent to an incarcerated individual, who could then process the drugs from the letter inside the prison.
In Khan's report, Wilfredo Laracuente, a former incarcerated individual in New York, said "This is going to be the beginning of the end, where they stop everything under the guise of security and contraband. What they're doing is removing the human component that's very vital and necessary for the reentry process."