Posted on 09/17/2018 at 04:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

An uptick in “suspicious substances” making their way into Pennsylvania state prisons through books could end physical-book donation programs.

An FAQ on the state Department of Corrections website now states that it “will no longer accept books donated directly to individual inmates.”

Instead, reports The Incline, the DOC will “begin to transition to ebooks coupled with bolstered DOC library system featuring centralized purchasing and ordering process.”

A DOC spokesperson cites the ease with which drugs can be smuggled in through books and other mailed items.

Book-donation groups that focus on connecting inmates with reading material have expressed concern about the change, with one such group calling prison libraries “underfunded (and) often inaccessible” on Twitter.

Pennsylvania's DOC isn't the first to target books in its fight against drug smuggling — The Digital Reader points out that Ohio made a similar move in February.

Read more about the debate in Pennsylvania on The Incline.

Tagged As: Politics

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