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Is crackdown on inmate mail stopping flow of illegal drugs into state prisons?

WGAL Lancaster-Harrisburg logo WGAL Lancaster-Harrisburg 10/11/2018
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Six weeks after the state cut off direct mail delivery to state prison inmates, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections is showing the public how inmates are now getting their mail.

The state issued a lockdown in August, after there were nearly two dozen inmate overdoses and six employees were sickened. Officials said policy changes are working.

Officials said drugs that were soaked into mail for inmates made some prison employees ill.

"When you really have a need like this, when you see the significant risk to our staff, we have to take action," said Maj. William Nicklow, of the Corrections Department.

Now all inmate mail is sent to Florida, where it's scanned, emailed back to the prison, printed and delivered to inmates.

"It's a big help to us because it's one less thing that we have to worry about," said Zack Fahnestock, the mail room supervisor at Camp Hill State Prison. "We don't have to worry about exposures."

a close up of a man © Provided by Hearst Television, Inc. In the month before the lockdown, officials said there were 23 inmate overdoses. Since then, there have been four.

"That says that the drugs are drying up within our facilities," said Nicklow.

While the state may be pleased with its progress, not everyone is happy. The American Civil Liberties Union said it plans to take legal action challenging the constitutionality of the new rules.

READ MORE:Is crackdown on inmate mail stopping flow of illegal drugs into state prisons?

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