PACKAGES RESTRICTIONS PILOT SUSPENDED!
KEEP THE PRESSURE ON!
As a result of massive community pressure and opposition, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has just announced that he is directing the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) to “rescind its flawed pilot program that restricticted shipment of books and care packages” to people imprisoned. Alarmingly, Cuomo continues on to say that the state will “redouble efforts to fight prison contraband.” Soon after the governor's comment, DOCCS spokesperson Thomas Mailey issued a statement with a much weaker message, claiming “the Governor has directed the Department to suspend this pilot program.”
To refer to the pilot program as “flawed” is to belittle its maliciousness. These restrictions, as laid out in Directive #4911A, are nothing short of oppressive, exploitative, and hostile toward imprisoned people and their support systems. A mere suspension leaves the door open to a kind of tinkering that will surely shift one outrageous policy into another. Since DOCCS first announced their intention to implement the restrictions, Critical Resistance NYC has been receiving testimonies from people imprisoned in New York State who have been especially skeptical of these appeals to “fight prison contraband”:
“The government claim that the aim is to reduce contraband is hogwash,” noted Keith. “Like the recent taking of our hoodies, and almost everything else, a false claim of security matters.”
“Within DOCCS, once they pull the ‘security issue’ card, it’s pretty much a one-sided battle,” wrote Ron. “It’s not about the packages, it’s about the profits.”
“They’re just using that as an excuse to take everything from us,” wrote Jimmy. “Last year they took the cans from us and all hooded sweatshirts to keep us warm outside for the winter - but we see what they are doing and they keep taking and taking.”
TAKE ACTION TO KEEP UP THE PRESSURE
Critical Resistance will remain alert to impending developments and will continue to fight for the absolute elimination of this directive. At this time we urge all of our friends to take these steps:
Keep the pressure on the governor and DOCCS!