For many Black communities, holiday family gatherings are the most important times of the year. But for people in prisons, the closest one can get to a get-together is opening photos and birthday cards in the mail.
But now, several states are fighting to steal even THAT away! Why?
From Pennsylvania to Florida, states claim it’s a “safety” concern – preventing contraband like drugs and weapons.
But really? They’re lining the pockets of companies who digitize mail. A Florida organization found that less than 0.5% of mail contains contraband! Meanwhile, incarcerated people are losing memories.
In other words, if your 6-year-old daughter sends you a handwritten, sticker-adorned Christmas card, or your husband tries to write you private information, prisons’ contracted companies will shred it, and make it only available to access on computers without privacy.
Research shows how critical mail is to incarcerated people’s mental health.
If they really want to stop the drug problem, they need to check their staff – they’re usually the ones who’ve been smuggling it!
It may not be the full freedom incarcerated people deserve but, like phone calls and visits, personal mail often provides sanity and hope when it’s needed most.
There’s no other way to say it: prison is an unnecessarily cruel place. We DON’T have to strip people of human connection to keep this world safe!