New Draconian Policy Affects Books & Mail in PA Prisons
The thin rationalization for this move is to stop drugs from entering the prison, but the real purpose is for the prison industrial complex to squeeze more profits from prisoners.
So the DOC crafted a plan to eliminate books and magazines being sent to inmates from donation groups, like Books Through Bars, and booksellers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble to avoid drugs being smuggled in the books. Instead the prisons will shift to ebooks and digital magazines. The ebooks range in price from $2.99 to $24.99 and can be read on tablets that cost $149. Prisoners can make as little as $0.19 an hour.
The library of ebooks available contains 8,500 titles and consists largely of material that exists in the public domain and could be read freely through Project Guttenberg, “but that cost anywhere from $2.99 (Moby-Dick) to $11.99 (The Federalist Papers), all the way up to $14.99 (Joseph Conrad’s The Rescue). Many more recent titles also are priced far higher than the same Kindle e-books. For instance, Stephen King’s prison tome, The Green Mile, costs 66 percent more on prison tablets than out in the free world.”
Those who have reviewed the full list of titles are not impressed by the selection, saying that the company doesn’t offer access to the most frequently requested books. A cursory glance reveals that there are either no comics and graphic novels (which are frequently requested by inmates) or next to none.