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Inmates' Advocates Press Md. To End Book Restrictions

BALTIMORE (AP) — Advocates for Maryland's prisoners are pressing the state to scrap newly imposed regulations they say harshly restricts inmates' ability to access books.

The state's chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says prisoners can now only order books from two vendors with "extremely limited" selections.

RELATED: Maryland Curbs Inmate Access To Books, Citing Drug Smuggling

They also say the "draconian new restrictions" also bans any third-party orders and prohibits any inmate from owning more than 10 books.

Gerard Shields is a spokesman for Maryland's Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. He says the decision to restrict book orders to two vendors has been imposed to ensure the safety of correctional employees and inmates.

The new regulations were largely imposed to block inmate access to Suboxone, an addictive drug sold in thin strips that are easily concealed inside envelopes.

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