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Cuomo puts brakes on program to restrict inmate packages

Last Updated Jan 12, 2018 at 3:40 pm MDT

NEW YORK, N.Y. – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed state prison officials to rescind a pilot program restricting packages to inmates.

Under the program that started last month at three state prisons, people sending packages to inmates must choose from the catalogues of six online vendors.

The program is intended to cut down on the flow of illicit drugs into prison, but prisoner advocates say it is too restrictive. Some advocates say there aren’t enough books available, and inmate family members have complained that the vendors’ products are too expensive.

Cuomo, a Democrat, tweeted Friday that “Concerns from families need to be addressed” while officials redouble efforts to fight prison contraband.

Department of Corrections spokesman Thomas Mailey says the program will be suspended while the department works to address concerns about it.