By TAYLOR ELIZABETH ELDRIDGE
New York corrections officials said Friday they have suspended a program that forced families and friends to send care packages to prisoners only through select private vendors, amid an uproar that the move raised costs and limited choices.
The switch to private companies had gone into effect earlier this month in a pilot program at three facilities: Greene, Taconic and Green Haven Correctional Facilities. The state planned to expand privatization to the whole system — the fourth largest in the nation — by the fall.
“Concerns have been raised by families of inmates regarding the availability and prices of products under this program, concerns we do not take lightly,” Thomas Mailey, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, said in a press release. The program has been suspended until those concerns can be addressed, Mailey said.