Pilot program for prison mail raises civil rights concerns

Local

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas has launched a pilot program for mail handling at the Ellsworth Correctional Facility that aims to stem rising drug use by inmates at facilities.

It involves scanning incoming mail and passing along only copies to inmates. The originals are destroyed.

Corrections officials contend there have been increased cases of the synthetic drug K2 being soaked into sheets of paper and sent into prisons via the mail.

Kansas plans to expand the process throughout its prison system if it proves successful at Ellsworth.

Criminal justice reform activists and legal advocates worry about privacy concerns. They argue the power of holding a hand-drawn card from your child shouldn’t be underestimated.

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