Ohio prisons to digitally scan mail to prevent drug smuggling

Ohio Headlines

MERRIFIELD, VA – DECEMBER 20: Pieces of mail wait to be sorted at the Merrifield Postal Center December 20, 2004 in Merrifield, Virginia. The Monday before Christmas is the busiest day of the year for the Postal Service. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — 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, says that in the interim, the agency has been photocopying thousands of pages of mail a month.

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