Rabiah Burks, 202-822-6700
FAMM to Federal Bureau of Prisons: Family mail matters
The national criminal justice group responds to new restrictions on physical letters sent to people in prison from loved ones and friends
WASHINGTON – FAMM President Kevin Ring sent a letter to Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer questioning the implementation of new restrictions on mail sent to people in prison.
“Some say scanning letters and photos is the future, but that doesn’t make it right,” said FAMM President Kevin Ring. “Holding a card or letter from your loved ones is one of the few – and most personal – connections people in prison have. We want the BOP to come up with a solution that doesn’t punish everyone in prison and their families because of the actions of a few.”
Mail is the cost-effective option for families to stay connected with their loved ones in prison. A 2015 report found that 34 percent of the families studied fell into debt to pay for phone calls and visitation.
In the letter, FAMM raises questions about the cost-effectiveness of such policies, as it requires the BOP to use already strained resources and staff on scanning mail, and/or risks spending tons of tax payer dollars on scanned mail.
For nearly three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM’s focus on ending a one-size-fits-all punishment structure has led to reforms to sentencing and prison policies in 6 states and is paving the way to programs that support rehabilitation for the 94% of all prisoners who will return to our neighborhoods one day.
FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safeguard taxpayer dollars and keep our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM is helping transform America’s criminal justice system by uniting the voices of impacted families and individuals and elevating the issues all across the country.