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Weekly News Digest

November 6, 2018 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

'Restricting Books for Prisoners Harms Everyone …' by Holly Genovese

Holly Genovese writes for Electric Literature, “In September, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections announced that all free book donations to incarcerated people in Pennsylvania state facilities would be banned. This ban was created alongside stringent mail search policies, in a purported effort to prevent drugs from entering prison. The Department of Corrections has argued that book donations are the primary vehicle for drugs entering prison, though there is very little evidence of this phenomenon. In fact it is a pretext for denying books deemed contentious to prisoners and profiting off their desire to read.”

She continues, “This ban has come at a time when the Department of Corrections is pushing new e-book readers on incarcerated people, which cost 150 dollars, a high cost that few incarcerated people can afford. … Approximately 8,500 books are available for incarcerated people to purchase, after they have already invested in the e-reader itself.”

Some of the books are expensive, such as books by Charlotte Bronte that can cost up to $20.99, although they are in the public domain. “This policy is designed to exploit for profit incarcerated people’s desire for books and knowledge, as well as severely curtailing available reading material in prisons. … Books represent vocational, educational, cultural, sexual, and philosophical freedom to incarcerated people living in prison. To the [Department of Corrections], this is more threatening than drugs.”

For more information, read the article.

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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