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 and mail for pre-trial inmates may be sealed in accord with the Bureau’s open correspondence privileges. The outgoing envelope must have the inmate’s name, register number, and return address in the upper left hand corner.
Inmates must assume responsibility 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 matter of classification. The inmate is notified of this placement and has the opportunity to respond. There is no mail service on weekends and holidays.
The inmate mail room is located between G-Unit and B-Unit inside the gate and is open Tuesday and Thursday from 11:00am to 12:00pm.
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 delivered by the Case Manager or Counselor as soon as possible after it is received. 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 register number on the envelope to aid the prompt delivery of mail. All inmate packages received at the institution must have prior authorization.
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 materials addressed to a specific inmate, such as advertising brochures, flyers, and catalogs. All publications must come from the publisher or book club. Accumulation of publications will be limited to 5 magazines (not to be more than 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 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” 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, 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 Attorneys General, 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’s General, Prosecuting Attorneys, Governors, U.S. Courts and State Courts.
A designated staff member opens incoming Special Mail in the presence of the inmate. This is usually done by the Unit Counselor or Case Manager. 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 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, 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 through Special Mail procedures to representatives of the news media if specified by name or 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
Upon approval, 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, or is party in a legal action (or witness) in which both parties are involved. The following additional limitations apply:
Such correspondence may always be inspected and read by staff at the sending and receiving institutions.
An Inmate Request form must be submitted to the Unit Team for consideration for correspondence. Upon approval, the memo will be maintained in the mail room for verification. When transferring from another federal institution and prior approval has been completed, the inmate need not request approval again. It would be necessary that the mail room of the inmate who transferred be given a copy of the previous approval.
REJECTION OF CORRESPONDENCE
Matter 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 direct a business while confined
This does not, however, prohibit correspondence necessary to enable an inmate to protect property or funds that were legitimately his at the time of his commitment. Thus, for example, an inmate may correspond about refinancing a mortgage for his home or sign insurance papers; however, the inmate may not operate (for example) a mortgage or insurance business while confined in the institution.
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 will 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.
MAILING OF INMATE PROPERTY
Inmates who are releasing from the institution may have personal items mailed into the institution. A Package Authorization Form must be requested through the Unit Counselor and must be approved by the Unit Manager who will sign and distribute the appropriate form.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS/FORWARDING OF MAIL
The Records Office will provide inmates with change of address cards required by the U.S. Post Office. These cards are given to inmates who are being released or transferred, to notify correspondents of a change in address. A Bureau change of address form will also be completed by the inmate upon his departure, and forwarded to the institution Mail Room. This form will be maintained there for a period of 30 days for purposes of forwarding all general mail (opposed to Special Mail, which will still be forwarded after 30 days). Any general mail received after 30 days will be returned to sender.
Inmates desiring to use certified, registered, or insured mail may do so. An inmate may not be provided services such as express mail, private carrier services, COD, or stamp collecting while confined.
TELEPHONES/INMATE TELEPHONE SYSTEM (ITS)
Telephones are located in all housing units for inmate use. Debit calls and collect calls can be made from these phones. It should be noted that any attempts to circumvent monitoring (i.e. relaying messages to a 3Rd party, talking in code, or using another PAC number or telephone account is strictly prohibited and subject to disciplinary action. 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 Case Manager or Counselor to arrange an unmonitored attorney call.
Inmates in Disciplinary Segregation and Administrative Detention may make a limited number of calls. Generally, phone calls for inmates in Administrative Detention and Disciplinary Segregation will be placed by the Special Housing Unit Officer. Institutional phones may not be used without permission of a staff member.
Trulincs is the e-mail system which allows an inmate to send e-mails via computer located in the housing units. Inmate may also access their phone account, fund transfers (BP-199 form) postal mailing labels. An inmate may have up to 30 e-mail address and 30 telephone numbers at one time and 100 contacts on the mailing system. An agreement form must be signed and approved by your unit team before being allowed to send e-mails. You must be assigned a Pac # and a Pin # before you can access Trulincs. Furthermore, all inmates must complete voice verification with ITS before allowing access to the phone system.
In order to access the telephone system and Trulincs, inmates must obtain their personal PAC and PIN number ordinarily from the A&O Counselor. These numbers are to remain confidential. The first time you try to access the telephones, key 111 into the keypad and follow the voice prompts to establish voice verification. You also must load approved telephone numbers into the system through the Trulincs system described above. All the telephone calls have a fifteen (15) minutes time limit and are subject to recording and monitoring. Telephones are to be used for lawful purpose only and are not to be used to conduct business threats, extortion, etc; it may result in Federal prosecution.