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Crime N.Y. prisons’ vendor program bars inmates from getting books

19:07  09 january  2018
19:07  09 january  2018 Source:   nydailynews.com

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The state prison system’s new vendor program blocks a widely acclaimed charity from mailing books to "These people will no longer be able to get books from us — or any books — if they no longer have the Books Through Bars mails approximately 700 packages of books to individual prisoners

The New York state prison system’s new vendor program blocks a widely acclaimed charity from mailing books to those behind bars . A missing inmate from the California Institute for Men in Chino was found early Saturday morning, March 17 on prison grounds, according to Chino police.

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State prison officials point out that groups like Books Through Bars will still be able to donate Prisoners in Special Housing Units get reading from a book cart that comes through those cells New York State’s vendor program — in March— has been harshly criticized by inmate supporters.

N . Y . prisons ’ vendor program bars inmates from getting books . The state prison system’s new vendor program blocks a widely acclaimed charity from mailing books to those behind bars .

The New York state prison system’s new vendor program that forces visitors to buy supplies from select online stores blocks a widely acclaimed charity from mailing books to those behind bars.

The state Department of Corrections last month launched a pilot program that requires family and friends to purchase items for locked up loved ones from five online vendors.

Over the past several days, inmate advocates pointed out that the vendors combined offered only five romance novels, 14 religious texts, 24 drawing or coloring books, 21 puzzle books, 11 how-to books, one dictionary, and one thesaurus.

“No books that help people learn to overcome addictions or learn how to improve as parents. No Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, Maya Angelou, or other literature that helps people connect with what it means to be human. No texts that help provide skills essential to finding and maintaining work after release from prison. No books about health, about history, about almost anything inside or outside the prison walls,” advocacy group Books Behind Bars complained in a letter to the governor.

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N . Y . prisons ’ vendor program bars inmates from getting books . The state prison system’s new vendor program blocks a widely acclaimed charity from mailing books to those behind bars .

Books and More for Inmates : New Books , Used Books , Calendars, Puzzles, Magazine Subscriptions and Back Issue Magazines. The Paperback Shop is an Approved Vendor for TDCJ Inmates with over 20 years of experience helping inmates with books .

Amid the outcry, prison officials on Monday quietly announced the addition of a sixth vendor that offers a wider selection of books.

But inmate advocates are still strongly opposed to the vendor arrangement.

“A big issue we have with the vendor system is we send books for free to prisoners,” said Amy Peterson, a Books Through Bars member. “These people will no longer be able to get books from us — or any books — if they no longer have the funds to purchase them.”

The organization mails approximately 700 packages of books to prisoners throughout the country each month.

In New York, many of the state’s 54 prison facilities have libraries.

But some are small and prisoners in solitary are blocked from accessing them.

“They are alone from the rest of the prison population and they really need books,” Peterson said.

Popular requests include dictionaries, drawing tutorials, crochet guides, and workout programs. A prisoner wish list created by the organization also seeks historical books about Native Americans and slavery in America.

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#SeatsAtTheTable @SXSWEDU #booksbehindbars #ServiceLearning A provocative documentary on a group of college students who study Russian literature with a group of Juvenile inmates . Cruel & unusual punishment: N . Y . prisons ’ vendor program bars inmates from getting books http

N . Y . prisons ’ vendor program bars inmates from getting books . The state prison system’s new vendor program blocks a widely acclaimed charity from mailing books to those behind bars .

New York State’s vendor program— first reported by the Daily News in March— has been harshly criticized by inmate supporters.

Prison officials say the new system — running in three facilities — will cut back on the amount of contraband.

They also point out that the secure vendor program is used by almost 30 jurisdictions in the country.

It is expected to be expanded systemwide by this fall.

Before it was launched, prison officials for years allowed family and friends to personally bring packages to their loved ones behind bars. They were also allowed to mail items to facilities.

Officers would check those packages before handing them over to prisoners. Now, friends and family members at the three selected facilities must use one of the six online vendors to ship items.

Last Wednesday, the National Supermarket Association said in a letter to the head of the state prison system that the program would hurt independent supermarkets in low-income neighborhoods.

“Simply put, this pilot program is short-sighted and bad for New York’s small business sector — the lifeblood of our economy,” wrote Nelson Eusebio, a board member of the group which represents 400 supermarkets.

a subway train at a train station: New York State’s vendor program forces visitors to buy supplies from select online stores. © James Keivom/New York Daily News New York State’s vendor program forces visitors to buy supplies from select online stores.

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