Private vendors cash in on care packages

The prison industrial complex is growing in New York state through a new program and private companies are set to profit millions.

Loved ones of inmates in New York state prisons can no longer send fresh fruits and vegetables, books or homemade goods in prisoner care packages.The new pilot program requires items to be purchased through online catalogs from pre-approved vendors, who make millions off the needs of prisoners and their families. Taylor Elizabeth Eldridge, an investigative fellow at The Marshall Project joined Salon's Alyona Minkovski on "Salon Now" to discuss the details of the plan which currently affects three prisons, but could be expanded to every facility in the state.

The New York Department of Corrections says that the change is an attempt to prevent contraband from coming in, but the new policy will put a huge strain on inmates and their loved ones due to higher prices and the need for credit cards and internet access to use the program, not to mention the impersonal nature of only sending catalog items.

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