FCI Bennettsville Correspondence

Aug, 22 11 Post by: admin | No Comments


Correspondence


You may correspond with the public, family members, and others provided the correspondence does not present a risk to the security of the institution.  A correspondence list must be maintained by the inmate in the TRULINCS system.  Inmates will be required to place a TRULINCS generated label on all outgoing mail. Inmates are limited to printing no more than ten labels per day.  The labels will be printed in the Education Department.  General outgoing, unsealed correspondence is placed in the mailbox located in each wing of the housing unit.  The Morning Watch Unit Officer will inspect all outgoing general correspondence for contraband and seal each item before it is collected by the Morning Watch Compound Officer.  The outgoing envelope must have your name, registration number, and return addresses in the upper left hand corner.

John Doe #00000-000
P.O. Box 52020
Federal Correctional Institution
Bennettsville, SC 29512-5220

All outgoing special/legal mail will be hand delivered by the inmate to mail room staff at designated days and times. All special/legal mail must be clearly marked as “special” or “legal” mail and sealed by the inmate prior to being delivered directly to the hands of the mail room staff for further processing.

The special/legal mail will be collected Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) at the FCI, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:10 a.m. The collection at the FPC will be Monday through Friday (excluding Holidays) from 8:30 a.m. to 8:40 a.m.

Inmates will be required to present their identification card to confirm that the inmate delivering the outgoing special mail is the same as reflected on the return address.  Outgoing special/legal mail submitted without an accurate return address will not be further processed, but rather returned immediately to the inmate.  Inmates attempting to send outgoing special/legal mail under another inmate’s return address will be considered for disciplinary action.

Any special/legal mail weighing 16 ounces or greater will be processed as a package.  Each package must have a form BP-329, Request Authorization to Mail a Package, approved by a unit team member, when delivered to the mail room. The mail room staff will collect the legal/special mail directly from the Special Housing Unit Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) at 7:35 a.m.

You are responsible for the content of your letters. Correspondence containing threats, extortion, etc., may result in prosecution for violation of Federal laws.

You may be placed on restricted correspondence status based on misconduct or a matter of classification.  You will be notified of this placement and have the opportunity to respond.

Mail services are not provided on weekends or holidays.


Incoming Correspondence


Mail is ordinarily distributed by the Evening Watch Officer, Monday through Friday excluding weekends and holidays.  Legal and Special mail will be issued to you by a Unit Team Staff member as soon as possible after it is received.  The number of incoming letters you received will not be limited unless it places an unreasonable burden to the institution.

Advise ALL those writing to address the envelope with your register number and designated unit to aid in the prompt deliery of your mail. Incoming correspondence should be sent to:

John Doe #00000-000 (Housing Unit)
FCI Bennettsville
P.O. Box 52020
Bennettsville, SC 29512-5220


Incoming Publications


The Bureau of Prisons permits you to subscribe to and receive publications without prior approval. The term “publication” means a book, single issue of magazine/newspaper, or materials addressed to a specific inmate, such as advertising brochures, flyers, and catalogs.  You may have five soft-cover publications (paperback books) from any source.

You may receive soft-cover publications (for example, paperback books, newspaper clippings, magazines, and other similar items) only from the publisher, from a book club, or from a bookstore. You may receive hardcover publications and/or newspapers only from a publisher, book store, or a book club.  You may retain a total of five (5) books which may include a combination of soft and hard cover books.  Magazines are limited to five (5) issues not to exceed three months from the date of issue and newspapers are limited to five (5) not to exceed three weeks from the date of issue.  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, one (1) 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, or facilitates criminal activity.


Sexually Explicit Commercially Published Information or Material

Section 614 of the Fiscal Year 1999 Omnibus Budget Act(P.L.  105-277) specifies:

“None of the funds made available in this Act to the Federal Bureau of Prisons may be used to distribute or make available any commercially published information or material to a prisoner when it is made known to the Federal official having authority to obligate or expend such funds that such information or material is sexually explicit or features nudity.”

(1) Commercially published information or material means any book, booklet, pamphlet, magazine, periodical, newsletter, or similar documents, including stationery and greeting cards, published by any individual, organization, company, or corporation which is distributed or made available through any means or media for a commercial purpose. This definition includes any portion extracted, photocopied,  or clipped from such items.
(2) Nudity means pictorial depiction where genitalia or female breasts are exposed.
(3) Features means the publication contains depictions of nudity or sexually explicit conduct on a routine or regular basis or promotes itself based upon such depictions in the case of individual one-time issues.  Publications containing nudity illustrative of medical, educational may be excluded.
(4) The following are examples of commercial publications which, based on current practices of the publisher, may be distributed to inmates even though they may contain nudity because the publication does not feature nudity as defined below:

National Geographic
Our body, Our Selves
Sports Illustrated (Swimsuit Issue)
Victoria’s Secret catalog

Any publication may change a single issue or its general policies and practices at any time which would allow it to become acceptable or non-acceptable for distribution. The above examples are guidelines only and are subject to change.
(5) Sexually explicit means a pictorial depiction of actual or simulated sexual acts including sexual intercourse, oral sex, or masturbation.
(6) Publications with sexual content which are not returned through application of the procedures in Section 7 are still subject to rejection through application of the procedures in Section 6.b. of the Program Statement.

For example, publications which contain sexually explicit text or which feature sado-masochism, bestiality, or which involve children may not meet the definition) ons in this Section for “sexually explicit” or “nudity,” but may be considered sexually explicit under Section 6.b.


Special Mail


“Special Mail” is a category of correspondence which may be sent out of the institution unopened. It includes correspondence to:  President and Vice-President of the United States, U.S. Department of Justice (including Bureau of Prisons), U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, Surgeon General, U.S. 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 Attorney Generals, Prosecuting Attorneys, Directors of State Departments 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 (excluding the Bureau of Prisons), other Federal law enforcement officers, U.S. Attorneys, State Attorney Generals, Prosecuting Attorneys, Governors, U.S. Courts, and State Courts provided all criteria are met.

The Unit team will then open your incoming Special Mail in your presence.  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 is “accurately identified on the envelope”, and “the front of the envelope clearly indicates that the correspondence is SPECIAL MAIL ONLY TO BE OPENED IN THE PRESENCE OF THE INMATE.”

Without adequate identification as Special Mail, 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:  You may use Special Mail privileges when corresponding to representatives of the news media if the representatives are specified by name or title.

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

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, reviewed for qualification as media correspondence, and reviewed for content which is likely to promote either illegal activity or conduct contrary to regulations.

Correspondence Between Confined Inmates: You 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 your immediate family or a party in legal action in which you both are involved.  The following additional conditions apply:

  • Such correspondence may always 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.

A request is submitted to the Unit Manager via Inmate Request to Staff Member (copout), with all the pertinent information to complete the request.


Rejection of Correspondence


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

  • Matters which are non-mailable under law or postal regulations.
  • Matters  which depict, describe, or encourage activities which may lead to the use of physical violence or group disruption.
  • Information of escape plots, plans to commit illegal activities, or plans to violate institution rules.
  • Direction of an inmate’s business.
  • Threats, extortion, obscenity, or gratuitous profanity.
  • Matters which are written in code.
  • Sexually explicit material which, by its nature or content, poses a threat to an individual’s personal safety or security or to the institution’s good order.

This does not prohibit correspondence necessary to enable you to protect property or funds that were legitimately yours at the time of your commitment.  You may, for example, correspond about refinancing a mortgage for your home or sign insurance papers. However, you may not operate a mortgage or insurance business while confined in the institution.

Notification of Rejection

If your incoming mail is rejected, the Warden will give written notice to the sender concerning the rejection of mail and the reasons for its rejection.  The sender of the rejected correspondence may appeal the rejection.  You will also be notified of the rejected correspondence and the reasons for it.  You also have the right to appeal the rejection.  Rejected correspondence ordinarily will be returned to the sender.

Inmate Packages


The only packages an inmate may receive from home are those containing release clothing within the last 30 days of confinement.  Release clothing will be limited to 1 pair of pants, 1 shirt (no t-shirts or tank tops), 1 pair of socks, 1 pair of shoes, 1 belt, and 1 jacket or sweater.  The release package will be issued to you in R&D the day of your release.  It will be your responsibility to ensure that the sending party includes the proper sizes of clothing.  In the event the clothing does not fit, the inmate will be provided release clothing by R&D staff and will be required to take the clothing received from home with him at the time of release.

Change of Address/Forwarding of Mail


The Mail Room will provide you with United States Postal Service (USPS) change of address kit if you are being released or transferred.  A Bureau change of address form will also be completed by you upon your departure.  It will be maintained in the Mail Room for a period of 30 days for the purpose of forwarding all general mail.  Special Mail will continue to be forwarded after 30 days.  Any general mail received after 30 days will be returned to the sender.

Special Postal Services


If you desire to use certified, registered, or insured mail, you may do so by attending the mail room open house (Tuesday/Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.). You may not be provided services such as express mail, private carrier services, COD, or stamp collecting while confined.

Trust Fund Limited Inmate Computer System (TRULINCS)


Inmates and persons in the community may exchange electronic messages.  It is an inmate’s responsibility to maintain his own contact list.  An inmate requests to exchange electronic messages with a person in the community by placing that person on the inmate’s contact list.  An inmate may be permitted to correspond via electronic messaging with an inmate confined in any BOP facility if the other inmate is either a member of the immediate family, or a party or witness in a legal action in which both inmates are involved.  The appropriate Unit Manager at each institution must approve in writing the correspondence.

Inmate Telephone System (ITS) Telephones


There are telephones located in each housing unit for your use from 6:00 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. daily.  Third party billing and electronic transfer of a call to a third party are prohibited.  Likewise, 1-800, 1-900, 1-976, 1-888, 1-877, or credit card access numbers are not allowed.

Telephones are to be used for lawful purposes only. Threats, extortion, or other illegal activities may result in prosecution.  All inmate telephones are subject to monitoring and recording.  You must contact your Counselor to arrange an unmonitored attorney call.

A three-way telephone call constitutes a call made to an individual who in turn calls another individual, bringing this individual into the conversation.  This includes relaying information back and forth, bringing the individual into the conversation by clicking them over, clicking this individual to your conversation (which does not include the individual you initially called), then clicking back, or having the individual you contact forward their calls to another person.  All these attempts are viewed as circumventing telephone procedures and will be processed as “Use of the telephone for abuses other than criminal activity, code 297.  This also includes conference calling, possession or use of another inmate’s PIN number and allowing another inmate to partake in your conversation.

FCI Bennettsville  has the Inmate Telephone System (ITSII).  This system uses a Personal Access Code (PAC). It allows you to call up to 30 approved numbers. In order to use the system, you will have to transfer funds from your Commissary account to your individual telephone account after 4:30 p.m. or on weekends.

Forms for updating telephone numbers may be obtained from the Unit Counselor. You will be given your Confidential 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 within two business days of your arrival.  All calls are automatically terminated after 15 minutes.  Changes to your phone list may be made one time per month by submitting a request through the Unit Counselor.  Changes can be made on an emergency basis only as determined by staff.

The use of the telephone will not interfere with the institution’s schedules, programs, work assignments, or counts. When a count or census is conducted, all inmates on the telephone shall terminate their calls immediately. During institutional emergencies, use of the inmate telephone may be curtailed or terminated.

Inmates are permitted to speak with individuals who are listed on their individually approved phone list only.  An inmate who places a phone call to an individual who is on their approved phone list MAY NOT permit another inmate to participate in the phone call AT ANY TIME.

Each inmate will be limited to 300 minutes of completed calls each month.  This limitation will be calculated by combining your collect and direct calls.

A written report of telephone charges is available for any 30-day period within the past 120 days upon payment of a fee of $3.00 for each 30-day period.  A Request for Withdrawal of Inmate’s Personal Funds (BP 199) must be submitted to unit staff to include the specific 30 day period for which a telephone account is requested.

A list of denial code explanations is posted on each unit bulletin board or a copy can be obtained through your unit team.


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