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New ADC Boss David Shinn Restricted Prison Books Last Year

David Shinn, who will soon inherit the scandal-plagued Arizona Department of Corrections, is no stranger to controversy.

Last year, while working as warden last year at a federal prison in California, he oversaw the implementation of fiercely controversial, ultimately short-lived restrictions on books and mail to inmates that effectively made books prohibitively expensive and difficult to obtain.

He was also named as a defendant in a class-action lawsuit last August against the U.S. government by immigrant detainees housed at the federal prison, who alleged that they suffered inhumane treatment and conditions.

Governor Doug Ducey appointed Shinn to the top ADC job on Monday with a start date of October 21, about two months after embattled former director Chuck Ryan stepped down.

A former Marine, Shinn began working for the Bureau of Prisons in 1991, starting as a legal technician and rising through the ranks to eventually become the assistant director of its program review division.

His last role prior to becoming assistant director was complex warden, a position Shinn held until mid-2018 at the Victorville Federal Correctional Institution.

Victorville was one of just a handful of prisons in which the Federal Bureau of Prisons rolled out the mail and book-restricting policies in 2017 and 2018.

Those policies barred federal inmates from receiving books from the outside, including buying directly from retailers like Amazon. Instead, they had to submit requests to buy books through a vendor, who was never disclosed, and who charged a 30 percent markup along with shipping fees.

The cost of books skyrocketed, prompting some inmates to cease ordering books entirely, the Appeal reported. An inmate at Victorville told the site that under the new system, two books

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