State Dept. of Corrections bans used books in Washington prisons

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SEATTLE -- Prisoners in Washington are no longer allowed to get used books while behind bars, and some non-profits say the move is restricting prisoner rights.

The state Department of Corrections announced a ban on used books earlier this month. They say they see a lot of contraband coming in through books, and there's not enough staff to check each package.

The group Books for Prisoners sends more than 10,000 books out each year. The non-profit says they've never had a problem, and banning services like this will cut off inmates' access to information.

"We've been doing this since 1973 without a problem," says Books to Prisoners board member Michelle Dillon. "We send all across the country. There's no reason that Washington would want to single out our programs. We don't have in issue."

Books to Prisoners says it has received thousands of 'Thank You' letters from prisoners over the years. It's now working to get the Department of Corrections to overturn the ban.

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