Pubdate: Mon, 30 Dec 2013
Source: Concord Monitor (NH)
Copyright: 2013 Monitor Publishing Company
Author: David Fischer


Re "Prison to alter mail rule" (Monitor front page, Dec. 11):

The New Hampshire Department of Corrections has announced that it 
will begin restricting the First Amendment rights of inmates and 
their loved ones to communicate by banning correspondence via letters 
for maximum and close-custody inmates. For general population 
inmates, envelopes will be seized upon delivery. The reason given for 
this change is to prevent the introduction of contraband - 
specifically the drug suboxone - into the prison.

Preventing drug use within a prison is certainly a noble goal. 
However, a peek behind the proverbial curtains reveals that this is 
yet another leap down the road of ineptitude when it comes to truly 
addressing drug abuse, the largest reason for recidivism.

It will probably surprise most people, but there is zero substance 
abuse treatment within the prisons of our state. Like the failed war 
on drugs, the Department of Corrections addresses drug abuse solely 
via futile efforts at eliminating supply while addressing demand only 
via the use of punitive measures on inmates who use drugs. 
Specifically, the department transfers the inmate to restrictive 
housing (21-hour lock-down), takes away electronic items, restricts 
visitattion and is now limiting correspondence to postcards for these 
inmates. Even in general population there are not enough jobs, 
programs or activities for inmates.

In sum, the Department of Corrections has created an environment that 
increases the desire to use drugs and the probability that an 
incarcerated addict will succumb to the urge to do so while providing 
zero treatment to such individuals.

"Corrections" is a myth!



(The writer is an inmate at the state prison.)
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom