Chairman Crowley Calls on New York Department of Corrections to Revise Restrictions on Books

Jan 10, 2018 Issues: In the Community

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) urged the New York City Department of Corrections Commissioner Cynthia Brann and New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Acting Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci to immediately revise a newly implemented rule restricting the content of packages sent to inmates.

The rule severely limits the range of reading materials available to inmates, restricting opportunities for offenders to access to information that could help to advance their rehabilitation.

“One of the most important ways for inmates to prepare for re-entry into society is through self-guided education. For many inmates, incarceration provides a critical opportunity to reassess their lives and make thoughtful determinations about their future,” Congressman Crowley wrote. “The city has long understood the critical role ample access to books plays in this development. While I understand the importance of limiting contraband in our prisons, I believe there are better ways to ensure the safety of inmates and employees that do not restrict deliveries of material that is beneficial to inmates’ futures.”

The policy is currently in effect in three prisons (Green Haven, Greene, and Taconic) but is expected to be implemented in all New York prisons by next year. 

To read Rep. Crowley’s full letter to Commissioner Brann, click here.