In most cases, inmates are permitted to correspond with the public, family members, and others without prior approval. Outgoing mail is placed in mailboxes located in the housing units. Outgoing mail for inmates may be inspected and must remain unsealed. 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 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 at this institution on weekends and holidays.
First class mail is distributed Monday through Friday (except holidays) and ordinarily by the evening watch officer in each housing unit. Newspapers and magazines may also be delivered at this time. Legal and special mail will be delivered by the unit team as soon as possible (within 24 hours) 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.
The incoming inmate mail must have an inmate’s full name and full register number. Nicknames and/or religious names will not be recognized by the mail room staff. This will aid prompt delivery and accuracy. 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. An inmate may receive hardcover publications only from a publisher, a book club, or book stores. Accumulation of publications will be limited to five magazines (not to be more than three months old) and to the amount that can be neatly stored in the locker and/or shelf provided in each room, due to 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, 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, descries, 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” and “Legal Mail” are categories of correspondence which may be sent out of the institution unopened and unread by staff, which includes correspondence to the President and Vice-President of the United States, United States Department of Justice (including Bureau of Prisons), United States Attorney’s Offices, Surgeon General, United States Public Health Service, Secretary of the Army, Navy, or Air Force, United States Courts, United States Probation Officers, Members of the United States Congress, Embassies, and Consulates, Governors, States 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/Legal Mail also includes mail received from the above noted sources. A designated staff member opens incoming Special/Legal Mail in the presence of the inmate. This is usually done by the Correctional Counselor or Case Manager. These items will be checked for physical contraband and for qualification as Special/Legal Mail. The correspondence will not be read or copied if the sender has accurately identified him/herself on the envelope and the front of the envelope clearly indicates that the correspondence is “Special Mail” or “Legal Mail” and “Only to be opened in the presence of the inmate.” Without adequate identification as Special/Legal Mail, the staff may treat the mail as general correspondence and it may be opened, read, and inspected.
Inmates must deliver outgoing Special/Legal Mail directly to the hands of a Unit Team staff member. Outgoing Special/Legal Mail weighing 16 ounces or greater will be processed as a package. The inmate will complete a Form BP-329, Request – Authorization to Mail Inmate Package, in the presence of their assigned Correctional Counselor, or the Unit Manager, if the Counselor is not available, and include the form with the package. Inmates may seal their outgoing Special/Legal Mail before submitting it directly to unit staff for further processing.
Inmates desiring to use certified, registered, or insured mail may do so, subject to handling methods established at each institution. An inmate may not be provided services such as express mail, private carrier services, COD, or stamp collecting while confined.
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.