[Pnews] PA prisoner on the new policy restricting access to publications, prohibits actual photos, drawings, or letters

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Oct 12 17:07:13 EDT 2018

In this hyper-connected world of emails, video chats, tweets, and text 
messages, who cares about snail mail? In a world of Facebook, Instagram 
and Snapchat, who cares about actual photos and drawings? In a world 
where publications are heavily focused on their online presence, who 
cares about actual books, magazines, newspapers and journals? The 
answer: prisoners, their families and friends. We are caged, exiled and 
denied internet access. Many of our families and friends are unable to 
travel the hundreds of miles necessary to visit us. We are dependent 
upon letters to stay in touch. We are dependent upon photos to see our 
children grow. We are dependent upon actual books, magazine, newspapers 
and journals to learn about the world.

Until August, we would dash from the afternoon yard and toward our cells 
hoping to find envelopes, magazines, newspapers or books scattered on 
the floor- confirmation that mail rounds had been done. Mail was our 
connection to families and friends. Mail was a pathway to education and 
rehabilitation. Mail was an avenue to growth and change. We looked 
forward to it.

In September, the PA DOC, enacted a new mail policy that severely 
restricts access to publications and prohibits actual photos, drawings 
or letters. In order to read, prisoners must purchase $155 tablets to 
access ebooks that cost $3 to $27. We earn .19 an hour working 4 to 6 
hour shifts, five days a week. Our wages and thîs policy constructively 
restrict us from reading. Can you imagine a world in which you could not 
read or look at pictures? Imagine not being able to receive a drawing 
from your child or their report card showing how well they're doing in 
school? This is our world now: the world of 50,000 prisoners in 

We ask that you support our efforts to overturn this onerous policy. We 
can't do it alone. Reading is a path to rehabilitation and a connection 
to the outside world. Don't allow the PA DOC to obstruct our efforts to 

In solidarity,


Send Stevie love and light:

Smart Communications
Stephen Wilson
P.O. Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL 33733


Dan Berger
/Rethinking the American Prison Movement/ 
/Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era 


Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/
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