(TargetLiberty.org) – New York is implementing a new policy that would block inmates in state prisons from getting paid for artwork or writing that has not received the approval of prison officials. According to the report released on Tuesday, the new directive was created by the state’s Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and specifically notes that all inmates have to follow a strict approval process before they are able to receive any profit for their work.
There are also limitations placed on what inmates are allowed to publish including which crime they were sentenced for, or any information that could potentially risk or threaten the staff of facility security of the prison they are in. The policy is the subject of a report in New York Focus, a nonprofit investigative newsroom, which had previously interviewed many inmates that had claimed that the state prison system was prohibiting them from displaying or releasing their creative works.
For example, one inmate, John J. Lennon, who went to prison at age 24, recently wrote a long-form essay for The New York Times discussing how those released from prison are able to find housing. When discussing the new policy from the Sullivan Correctional Facility, he stated that this policy was only meant to block creative minds from producing any creative work while in prison. He further added that this would turn prisons into a “black box.”
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