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Missouri Prison Reform received the following message from a resident of a Missouri Prison.

The Missouri Department of Corrections has struck yet another blow in its campaign of censorship under the guise of limiting the avenues used for the introduction of drugs and contraband into its correctional facilities. Beginning July 1, 2022, all personal, postal mail will no longer be accepted at Missouri Department of Corrections correctional facilities. Lines of personal hand written communication had been broken, under the guise of limiting the avenues used for the introduction of drugs and contraband into its correctional facilities. IT DIDN’T WORK! One year later, and without notification to the prisons residents, the departments “Friends and Family” web page announced the following in August 2023: “Books Offenders are no longer allowed to receive publications purchased by family and friends, however offenders may purchase reading materials (books, magazines, newspapers, religious materials, and correspondence courses) from a bona fide vendor. This change allows the Department to continue our effort of improving practices to limit the avenues uses for introduction of drugs and contraband into facilities. A publication includes any printed material that is published and made available for commercial purposes (books, magazines, and newspapers). Reading materials must meet vendor guidelines and must not exceed $100 in value, threaten safety and security of the institution, or exceed property limits. The Department provides access to reading material in the library and religious reading material in the chapel at each correctional center.” A large percentage of Missouri prisoners receive a state stipend of somewhere between $5 and $8.50 per month depending on court fees and child support payments which does not cover monthly hygiene purchases let alone funds to purchase books, magazines or newspaper subscriptions. Many have been a burden to their family due to continued drug use while incarcerated. Fear they may be enabling their loved one’s drug use by sending money, many mother’s and father’s simply purchase books, magazines and pay for newspaper subscriptions to help their loved one pass their time in a constructive manner. Like wise, a number of organizations and academic centers of learning provide free books and learning materials free of charge to prisoners nation wide. Let’s be clear, No drugs are being sent into Missouri’s correctional facilities hidden in books, magazines, newspapers, religious materials, or correspondence courses from bona fide vendors! We need you’re help! Please contact you’re state Representative and let him/her know that this expansion of censorship within the department of corrections is unacceptable and must be reversed.

You can also follow us on our newsletter web page at < > With Gratitude, Patricia Trimble 39226 Southeast Correctional Center Charleston Mo.

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