Washington State: Corrections Officials Reverse Ban, Will Allow Prisoners to Get Used Books in the Mail
From The Seattle Times:
The ban on used books entering Washington prisons via nonprofit groups has been lifted.
After an outcry by a Seattle nonprofit and questions from state lawmakers and Gov. Jay Inslee, corrections officials Wednesday reversed their recent ban against organizations mailing books to prisoners.
The Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) last month quietly posted that policy, citing fears of contraband in prisons. Defending their decision last week, the agency cited 17 instances of contraband involving books last year.
But information requested from the agency last week by The Seattle Times and reported Wednesday morning showed that a dozen of those instances actually had nothing to do with books.
The ban would have left used publications to come in through the state library system. Overseen by the Secretary of State’s Office, that program stocks prison libraries – but did not have extra funding or a plan fill to the void.
UPDATE: (April 15): Washington Partially Rescinds Prison Book Ban (via Publishers Weekly)
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.