Prison Mail Procedure Changed

Kansas has launched a pilot program for mail handling at the Ellsworth Correctional Facility that aims to stem rising drug use by inmates at facilities.

The program involves scanning incoming mail and passing along only copies to inmates.

The originals are destroyed.

Corrections officials contend there have been increased cases of the synthetic drug K2 being soaked into sheets of paper and sent into prisons via the mail, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Criminal justice reform activists worry about privacy concerns.

The number of inmates found in “altered states of consciousness” have nearly tripled in the past three years, and are projected to exceed 1,200 by the end of this year, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Legal mail, which is subject to attorney-client privilege, is opened in the presence of residents, and isn’t read by staff.