As if Arkansas’s prisons weren’t already enough of a black box from whence no light can intrude or escape, now comes word that civil liberties groups, including ACLU Arkansas, are fighting a ban on bringing newspaper clippings and anything else printed on newsprint paper into Arkansas prisons.
The Arkansas Department of Corrections says newspapers and newspaper clippings were banned from their facilities because newsprint might be covertly impregnated with drugs, including LSD, and smuggled in. Inmates can apparently still receive articles, as long as they are copied or otherwise printed on plain printer paper. The policy was instituted in May.
Smuggling drugs into prisons in this manner isn’t as far-fetched as you might believe. In 2015, a former chemical engineer was arrested in Florida and later plead guilty to sending hallucinogen-laced postcards to inmates at the Broward County Jail, which police say were then torn into tiny squares and sold behind bars for $10 a hit.