Jefferson City — Inmates within Missouri’s prison system will no longer be allowed to get reading materials purchased by family and friends. The Missouri Department of Corrections announced the move.

The department said the change is meant to limit the ways drugs and other illegal items get into the prisons. The latest move comes as several recent drug-related deaths have been reported at the prison in southern Missouri’s Licking.

According to the state agency, prisoners will still be able to buy reading materials from a bona fide vendor. Each prisons continues to provide reading material in their library and religious reading material in their chapel.

In 2022, the department moved to a digital mail system for inmates. This effort was also to help stop the flow of drugs into prisons.

Missouri has 19 adult prisons.

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