Katie Meyer was WITF’s Capitol Bureau Chief from 2016-2020. While at WITF, she covered all things state politics for public radio stations throughout Pennsylvania. Katie came to Harrisburg by way of New York City, where she worked at Fordham University’s public radio station, WFUV, as an anchor, general assignment reporter, and co-host of an original podcast. A 2016 graduate of Fordham, she earned several awards for her work at WFUV, including four 2016 Gracies.
Katie is a native New Yorker, though she originally hails from Troy, a little farther up the Hudson River. She can attest that the bagels are still pretty good there.
WITF's Capitol Bureau Chief Desk is partially funded through generous gifts made in the memory of Tony May through the Anthony J. May Memorial Fund.
In the span of a few weeks, dozens of guards and other staff in multiple state prisons started reporting symptoms the state said were consistent with accidental drug exposure. The DOC reported that a number of inmates also fell ill.
The whole system was locked down. When the Corrections Department finally got things back to normal, new security measures were added.
One concerns legal mail. Instead of directly giving inmates letters from their lawyers, they’re now photocopied in front of the recipients, and the prison temporarily retains the original.
The department maintains the retained letters are kept secure, and the practice is necessary to make sure drugs don’t get in.
But the ACLU argues they can’t be sure the letters aren’t tampered with. They’re suing on First Amendment grounds, along with the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project, Abolitionist Law Center, and Amistad Law Project.
The trial is expected to last at least through this week.
This story has been updated to note that inmates, as well as prison staff, fell ill due to drug exposure, according to the DOC.