More than 100 families of incarcerated people from across New York State held a series of concurrent rallies in six regions—Long Island, New York City, Westchester, Albany, Syracuse, and Buffalo—to call for an immediate end to the cruel Department of Corrections and Community Supervision package ban.
Originally announced earlier this year, the change in policy prohibits people from sending food packages to incarcerated family members, and limits the number of personal (non-food) packages one can receive to two per year. All food packages must now go through approved vendors, which has dramatically increased costs for families.
As a result of the ban, families will be forced to use vendors to send any food to loved ones. The availability of food items is extremely limited and cannot accommodate dietary, religious, and cultural needs. Fresh foods are liable to spoil during transit, denying incarcerated individuals access to healthy food. Vendors do not accept EBT cards as payment for those living below the poverty line who rely on this supplement to send food to their loved ones.