February 26, 2019 - Katie Meyer - WHYY
For about five months, all mail sent to inmates in Pennsylvania’s state prisons has been routed through a processing facility in Florida, where it is searched and photocopied.
Inmates get the copy. The original is destroyed, though it’s digitally retained for 45 days.
State officials put the policy in place after a spike in drug smuggling last year.
There has since been pushback from inmates’ rights groups and families of incarcerated people. But in an annual budget hearing before the House Appropriations Committee on Monday, Corrections Secretary John Wetzel reaffirmed the policy is staying put.