FCI Beckley Correspondence

Aug, 22 11 Post by: admin | No Comments


In most cases, inmates are permitted to correspond with the public, family members and others without prior approval or the maintenance of a correspondence list. Outgoing mail is placed in mailboxes located in the housing units. Outgoing mail will be inspected by staff, and must be unsealed when deposited in the institution mailbox. The outgoing envelops must have the inmate’s name, registration number, and complete return address in the upper left hand corner. Do not abbreviate Federal Correctional Institution Beckley.

Inmates will be responsible for the contents of all of their letters. Correspondence containing threats, extortion, etc., may result in prosecution for violation of Federal laws.

Inmates may be placed on restricted correspondence status based on misconduct or as a result of classification. The inmate is notified of this placement and has the opportunity to respond. There is no mail service on weekends and holidays.

Incoming Correspondence

First class mail is distributed Monday through Friday (except holidays) by the evening watch officer in each living unit. Newspapers and magazines may also be delivered at this time. Legal and special mail will be distributed by Mail Room or Unit staff and opened in the presence of the inmate. The number of incoming letters an inmate may receive will not be limited unless the number received places an unreasonable burden on the institution.

Inmates are asked to advise those writing to them to put the inmate’s registration number and unit on the envelop to aid the prompt delivery of mail.

All inmate packages received at the institution must have prior authorization. Ordinarily, authorization for inmates to receive incoming packages will be limited to release clothing only.

Incoming Publications

The Bureau permits inmates to subscribe to and receive publications without prior approval. The term “publication” means a book, single issue of a magazine or newspaper, or material addressed to a specific inmate, such as advertising brochures, flyers, and catalogs. An inmate may only receive publications and newspapers from the publisher or a book club/store. Accumulation of publications will be limited to five (5) magazines (not to be more than three (3) months old) and to the amount that can be neatly stored in the locker provided in each room, because of sanitation, and fire safety reasons. The Unit Manager may allow more space for legal publications upon request.
The Warden will reject a publication if it is determined to be detrimental to the security, good order or discipline of the institution, or if it might facilitate criminal activity. Publications which may be rejected by the Warden include, but are not limited to publications which meet one of the following criteria:

  • It depicts or describes procedures for the construction or use of weapons, ammunition, bombs, or incendiary devices.
  • It depicts, encourages, or describes methods of escape from correctional facilities, or contains blueprints, drawings, or similar descriptions of Bureau of Prisons’ institutions.
  • It depicts or describes procedures for the brewing of alcoholic beverages or the manufacture of drugs.
  • It is written in code.
  • It depicts, describes, or encourages activities which may lead to the use of physical violence or group disruption.
  • It encourages or instructs in the commission of criminal activity.
  • It is sexually explicit material that by its nature or content poses a threat to the security, good order, or discipline of the institution.

Special Mail

“Special Mail” is a category of correspondence which may be sent out of the institution unopened and unread by staff, which includes correspondence to: President and Vice-President of the United States, Department of Justice (including Bureau of Prisons), U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, Surgeon General, Public Health Service, Secretary of the Army, Navy, or Air Force, U.S. Courts, U.S. Probation Officers, Members of the U.S. Congress, Embassies and Consulates, Governors, State Attorneys General, Prosecuting Attorneys, Directors of State Department of Corrections, State Parole Commissioners, State Legislators, State Courts, State Probation Officers, other Federal and State law enforcement officers, attorneys and representatives of the news media.

“Special Mail” also includes mail received from the following: President and Vice-President of the United States, Attorneys, Members of U.S. Congress, Embassies and Consulates, the U.S. Department of Justice (including the Bureau of Prisons), other Federal law enforcement officers, U.S. Attorneys, State Attorney’s General, Prosecuting Attorneys, Governors, U.S. Courts and State Courts. For incoming correspondence to be processed under the special mail procedures, the sender must be adequately identified on the envelop, and the front of the envelop must be marked “Special Mail -Open only in the presence of the inmate.”

A designated staff member opens incoming “Special Mail” in the presence of the inmate. Inmates will be notified by unit staff or mail room staff where to report to have special mail issued. These items will be checked for physical contraband and for qualification as “Special Mail”; the correspondence will not be read or copied if the sender has accurately identified himself/herself on the envelope and the front of the envelop clearly indicates that the correspondence is “Special Mail” only to be opened in the presence of the inmate. Without adequate identification as “Special Mail”, the staff may treat the mail as general correspondence. In this case, the mail may be opened, read, and inspected.

Inmate Correspondence with Representatives of the News Media

An inmate may write, following Special Mail procedures, to representatives of the news media when specified by name and title.

The inmate may not receive compensation or anything of value for correspondence with the news media. The inmate may not act as a reporter, publish under a byline, or conduct a business or profession while in Bureau custody.

Representatives of the news media may initiate correspondence with an inmate. Correspondence from a representative of the news media will be opened, inspected for contraband, for qualification as media correspondence, and for content which is likely to promote either illegal activity or conduct contrary to regulations.

Correspondence Between Confined Inmates

An inmate may be permitted to correspond with an inmate confined in another penal or correctional institution. This is permitted if the other inmate is either a member of the immediate family (mother, father, sister, child, or spouse), or party in a legal action (or a witness) in which both parties are involved. The following additional limitations apply.

Such correspondence will be inspected and read by staff at the sending and receiving institutions (it may not be sealed by the inmate).

The Warden at both institutions must approve the correspondence.

Rejection of Correspondence

The Warden may reject correspondence sent by or to an inmate if it is determined to be detrimental to the security, good order, or discipline of the institution, to the protection of the public, or if it might facilitate criminal activity. Examples include:

  • Material which is non-mailable under law or postal regulations.
  • Information of escape plots, of plans to commit illegal activities, or to violate institution rules.
  • Direction of an inmate’s business (prohibited act 408). An inmate may not conduct a business while confined.
  • Notification of Rejection

The Warden will give written notice to the sender concerning the rejection of mail and the reasons for rejection. The sender of the rejected correspondence may appeal the rejection. The inmate may also be notified of the rejection of correspondence and the reasons for it. The inmate also has the right to appeal the rejection. The Warden shall refer the appeal to a designated officer other than the one who originally disapproved the correspondence. Rejected correspondence ordinarily will be returned to the sender.

Change of Address/Forwarding of Mail

Inmates may obtain change of address cards from the institution mail room. These cards should be completed by inmates who are being released or transferred, to notify correspondents of a change in an address. Any general mail received after 30 days will be returned to the sender. “Special Mail” will continue to be forwarded after 30 days.

Certified/Registered Mail

Inmates desiring to use certified, registered, or insured mail may do so at this facility. An inmate may not be provided services such as express mail, private carrier services, COD, or stamp collecting while confined. Scales and certified materials are available in the law library.

Funds Received Through the Mails

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has centralized the processing of all incoming inmate funds. This requires the establishment of a National LockBox location. Effective October 18, 2004 all funds being sent to inmates at F.C.I. Beckley must be sent to the National LockBox location at the following address:

Federal Bureau of Prisons
Insert Inmate Name Insert Inmate Register Number
Post Office Box 474701
Des Moines, Iowa 50947-0001

The institution mail room at F.C.I. Beckley will no longer accept funds received from outside the institution effective November 18, 2004. Any funds received after that date will be returned to the sender with specific directions on how to send the funds to the national LockBox. Please notify all persons who send you funds that they must send all funds to the national LockBox mailing address (above) and adhere to the following instructions: Instruct them NOT to enclose personal checks, letters, pictures or any other items in the envelope. Enclose only the allowable negotiable instrument. The national LockBox can not forward any items enclosed with the negotiable instrument to the inmate. Items, personal in nature, must be mailed directly to the Bureau of Prisons’ institution where the inmate is housed.

Instruct them that they must have the inmate’s committed name (no nicknames) and register number printed on all money orders; U.S. Treasury, state, and local government checks; any foreign negotiable instruments payable in U.S. currency; and envelopes.

Instruct them that their name and return address must appear in the upper left hand corner of the envelope to ensure that their funds can be returned to them in the event that they can not be posted to the inmate’s account.


Telephones are to be used for lawful purposes only. Threats, extortion, etc. may result in prosecution. All inmate telephones are subject to monitoring and recording. Inmates must contact their Counselor to arrange an unmonitored attorney call.

While policy specifically allows inmates to make one call every three months, there is no specific limit on the number of phone calls that an inmate may make. It is expected that each inmate will handle his calls in such a manner that will allow the equal use of the phones by all inmates. Calls are limited to fifteen (15) minutes in duration. Each inmate, unless on telephone restriction, is allowed 300 minutes of calls per month. Telephones will not be used to conduct a business.
FCI/FPC Beckley has the Inmate Telephone System (ITS). This system uses a Personal Access Code (PAC). You are allowed to have thirty (30) approved numbers on your phone list. In order to use the system, you will have to transfer funds from your commissary account to your individual telephone account. There are telephones located in each housing unit for your use. No third party, credit card calls, 1-800, 1-900, 1-888, or 1-976 calls can be made on these lines. Collect calls can also be made to approved telephone numbers.

Phone time will be transferred from your commissary account to your telephone account by use of the telephone. Forms for updating telephone numbers may be obtained from the Unit Counselor. Once the ITS office receives and processes the form submitted by you through the your Correctional Counselor, you will be given your SECRET PAC (nine digit) number. This will allow you to place a call by first entering the telephone number followed by your nine digit PAC number. Giving or selling your PAC number will result in disciplinary action. All calls are automatically terminated after fifteen (15) minutes. A one hour waiting period between calls is imposed at FCI Beckley.

Changes to your phone list may be made three times each month by submitting a request through the Unit Counselor. You may submit your request anytime each month.

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