What's up with this?
Mary Pat De Verneil, a volunteer with an inmates advocacy group, wrote to Gary D. Maynard, the state secretary of corrections, asking for an explanation.
"Receiving mail is a connection for an inmate with the outside world," De Verneil wrote on behalf of Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE). "Inmates look forward to receiving greeting cards on birthdays, holidays or just a random 'Thinking of You' card . ... These communications are so vital to the rehabilitation of an inmate.
"There are already protocols to deal with contraband found in the mail. This really seems to be going too far."
De Verneil hasn't heard from Maynard, who, of course, has been kind of busy with the mess at the Baltimore City Detention Center.
But Mark Vernarelli, director of information for the Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services, got right back to me Monday, saying that "so much contraband has been arriving concealed in greeting cards" that officials decided to ban them from all facilities in Western Maryland. "This is a measure designed to keep staff and inmates safe," Vernarelli said.
If greeting cards go, can letters be far behind?
Some prisons in other states have taken that step, Vernarelli said, limiting inmate mail to postcards.
You have to wonder if this has something to do with the Black Guerrilla Family; almost everything else in the prisons seems to.
Guys: Drop me a line — while they still allow you to mail letters in sealed envelopes — and let me know what's going on.