New York State Prison Package Rule Bans Nutritious Food, Makes Money for Corporations


The thugs who run the NYS prison system (NYS DOCCS) has issued a new directive (4911A) that describes new, draconian package rules that they are testing in 3 prisons as a ‘pilot program’. This directive comes in the wake of petty rule crackdowns after the escape of two prisoners from Clinton prison in 2015. Reports have trickled in about long term prisoners losing their trailer visits, hoodies being eliminated and even more bitterness on the part of the guards. This past fall, political prisoner Herman Bell was beat down by 3 or more guards, others like Ramsey Orta had to deal with transfer way upstate and have been assaulted by staff. Basically, staff thinks they can do what they want.

Currently, at most facilities, family and friends can drop off packages at the front desk when visiting, packages that include fresh fruit and vegetables that supplement the high carb/sugar, meager diet provided by DOCCS. Although you have to deal with the guards and their bullshit attitude about what can and cannot come into the prison, at the end, you know your friend or family member will be getting to eat some fresh fruit, vegetables and treats they cannot possibly get from DOCCS.

These new rules are horrible in so many ways including:

  1. Packages can be ordered only from approved vendors (so basically, some corporations will win out and have a guaranteed market to sell overpriced processed food).
  2. Fresh fruit and vegetables are not allowed.
  3. Family and friends cannot drop off packages while visiting. All packages must be shipped through the vendor.
  4. Each person is limited to ordering three packages a month for him or herself and receiving three packages a month from others. Each package cannot be more than 30 pounds. Of the 30 pounds per package, only 8 pounds can be food.
  5. Allowable items will be the same in all facilities. (No more local permits.)
  6. There are far fewer items allowed than before and of the items that are allowed, far less variety. This includes additional restrictions on clothing.
  7. The pilot rules are not clear about how books, media, religious items and literature, or other items subject to First Amendment protection will be treated. This could mean that prison book programs like Books through Bars will not be able to send free books to the 52,000 people in the prison system.

The pilot program implements an “approved venders only” package system. This means that only packages from approved vendors will be accepted. The vendors appear to be companies that specialize in shipping into prisons and jails. There are currently five approved vendors identified on the DOCCS website. This amounts to a cash grab for these companies.

The pilot program is starting at three facilities: Taconic, Greene, and Green Haven. Those facilities will stop accepting packages from non-approved vendors on January 2, 2018.

We have to make this package directive unworkable. These new rules are cruel; eliminating fresh fruit and vegetables and creating massive profits for the vampire companies that will fill the niche.


Some ideas how:

1.) Sign the petition- share it with your address book, share it on twitter, share it on facebook. It takes two seconds.…/no-package-restrictions-for-n…

2.) Get in touch with your people in NYS Prisons and let them know about this. Inform them, send them the info. Massive non-cooperation on the part of NYS prisoners will have to play a huge role in this. People inside know how to make things unworkable.

3.) Flood the politicians with postcards and letters. Send one to Governor Cuomo and one to Anthony Annucci, the acting commissioner of DOCCS.

Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Acting Commissioner Anthony Annucci
Building 2, State Campus
Albany, NY 12226

Some sample text:

Dear Governor Cuomo,
This holiday season is about giving, not taking away. I object to the new DOCCS package rules.
(Your Name)
(Your relationship to people in prison, if applicable)

Dear Acting Commissioner Annucci,
The new DOCCS package pilot punishes innocent families. Having a loved one in prison is already expensive and difficult—the new rules make it worse. Rescind the package pilot!
(Your Name)
(Your relationship to people in prison, if applicable)

4.) Call Cuomo’s office and leave a message about it. You won’t have to talk to anyone. Just leave your message. 518-474-8390

5.) Email

6.) Tweet at Cuomo: @NYGovCuomo

7) Get friendly media to cover this issue, to talk to family members of people inside and spread the word.

Many of the tactics described above are tame. That’s ok. Its not our place to tell people what to do. However, with New Years Eve coming up real soon and an international call for noise demos, why not do noise demos when these fuckers are actually at work?

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