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Government & Politics

Ohio Prisons to Digitally Scan Mail to Thwart Drug Smuggling

a photo of the exterior of the Marion Correctional Institution
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
The Marion Correctional Institution

The Ohio prisons system plans to digitally scan virtually all incoming mail for inmates to thwart drugs smuggled by soaking them into paper.

The agency says each prison facility will have scanning equipment to digitally copy mail under a contract with a company called GTL. The contract is worth an estimated $22.7 million annually.

The scanned mail will be delivered to tablets or wall-mounted kiosks that inmates already have access to. Legal mail will be exempt from being digitized.

A spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, JoEllen Smith, said that in the interim, the agency has been photocopying thousands of pages of mail a month.