Every year, thousands of people in Pennsylvania prisons write directly to nonprofit organizations, such as Bookem, asking for reading materials, which are usually sent to them at no cost. This free access to books has dramatically improved the lives of incarcerated individuals, offering immense emotional and mental relief as well as a key source of rehabilitation.
But last month, the Pennsylvania DOC decided to make such rehabilitation much harder. Going forward, books and publications, including legal primers and prison newsletters, cannot be sent directly to incarcerated Pennsylvanians. Instead, if they want access to a book, they must first come up with $147 to purchase a tablet and then pay a private company for electronic versions of their reading material. Click here to read the whole article.