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Zero Tolerance Drug Policy in New Jersey

New Jersey Corrections authorities began a "zero tolerance" policy in May, 1998. Under the new policy, prison staff are cracking down on prisoners who use drugs or alcohol by taking contact visits as punishment according to an article published by the Associated Press. In the first week of June, three prisoners were charged with conspiracy to possess marijuana and one prisoner was charged with possession of heroin.

All four of the prisoners charged with drug offenses will receive a disciplinary hearing. If they are found guilty of the charges, they will lose contact visits for at least one year for the first offense. Prisoners found guilty of a second drug or alcohol violation will lose contact visits for the remainder of their sentences.

Beginning in October, as part of the "zero tolerance" program, prisoners in New Jersey will not be allowed to receive packages from outside, except educational, religious, and legal materials. By September 1, 1998, all prisoners in that state will lose personal clothing, and be required to wear state issued uniforms. Similar restrictions are planned or underway in California prisons.

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