Drug Smuggling Crackdown Prompts Prison Greeting Card Ban in New Hampshire

There are few luxuries inside state prison. Some would say getting a painting from your child, or a Valentine's Day card from your spouse is one of them.  But starting May 1, inmates won't be allowed to receive anything but handwritten letters on normal paper.

Department of Corrections spokesperson Jeffrey Lyons says over the past several months there's been an uptick in people trying to smuggle in a prescription drug called Soboxone that can be abused to get high. It comes in a thin film form which is easily concealed in the mail.

"They've been sliding stuff inside greeting cards and mailing them that way," Lyons said.

Lyons says it's just the latest trend to sneak contraband inside.

"We've had situations where diapers have been used, people place drugs inside diapers," he said.

The ACLU is looking into whether the new policy violates free speech, while echoing that concern is a man who has dedicated his life to fighting for inmate’s rights.

Chris Dornin is the founder of Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform. He says the majority of inmates aren't looking for drugs in their Christmas cards, they're simply enjoying something tangible from the outside.

"Anything that brings the life on street, love and the normal relationships on the street back into prison so they can hold it - there is so much hope attached to that," he said.

Dornin admits there is a drug problem in the state's prisons, but argues that restricting mail isn't the way to fix it.

"This is a little too late and too little to solve that problem," he said.

However, Lyons says this latest policy is at the very least, a step in the right direction.

The video below is the NECN televised news cast

SOURCE: http://www.necn.com/news/new-england/Drug-Smuggling-Crackdown-Prompts-Pr...

By: Katherine Underwood