How Private Vendors in Prisons Curtail Inmate Rights

TULSA, Oklahoma. If you are facing criminal charges, there’s yet another reason why you might want to fight for your innocence. While the U.S. ostensibly claims that its prison system is designed to rehabilitate inmates, more and more, our prison system serves to limit a person’s rights and serves punitive ends.

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In New York, for example, the prison system may bar friends and family from sending prisoners used books and bringing fresh fruit and vegetables to their loved ones. However, New York isn’t the only state considering this measure. According to the New York Times, 27 other states limit what prisoners can access while in prison through the use of secure vendors.

When these policies are put in place, family and friends may be limited to selecting items from “catalogs of a handful of state-approved vendors,” according to the New York Times. While the prisons claim that the policy will limit contraband entering the system, critics of the new policy claim that this is yet another way that private vendors will serve to benefit from the prison system. The prices of items in the catalogues can sometimes be inflated. The prices of one vendor for a while T-shirt was $10 when most people can acquire a whole pack of white shirts for much less online. For poorer families, the vendors are yet another expense of having an incarcerated loved one. The Marshall Project reports that prison care packages are “part of a lucrative industry.” One company in Virginia was estimated to earn about $95,000 in a single year on its “care package” business.

The restriction on books is particularly alarming for some because it significantly impacts a person’s ability to remain connected to the outside world. It also limits what a person can and cannot learn while in prison. These prison policies can also impact charities who want to send prisoners books. In fact, among the banned books, include texts about overcoming addictions, and classics including Jane Austen and Ernest Hemingway.

Book restrictions are not the only problem. The food sold through the catalogs can be unhealthy and high in sodium and fat. Because prison regulations require food to be hermetically sealed, the food that family can bring tends to be processed and not fresh. In some instances, families were forced to send their loved ones basics like toilet paper, because the prison didn’t provide it.

The fact remains: going to jail or prison for drug charges or other criminal charges can lead to serious loss of your rights. Not only do individuals lose rights while in prison, but they may also lose rights when they are freed. Some states don’t allow former felons the right to vote. Others may face challenges getting access to certain aid programs after having a criminal record.

If you are facing criminal drug charges or other charges in Tulsa, Oklahoma, protect your rights. The Henson Law Firm, P.L.L.C. offers compassionate and caring legal counsel to individuals facing criminal charges. Visit our firm at https://myoklahomadefenselawyer.com/ today to learn more.

By | 2018-01-25T16:50:45+00:00 January 25th, 2018|criminal defense attorney|0 Comments

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