(See current policy) First class mail is distributed Monday through Friday (except holidays) evenings by the evening watch officer in each living unit. Newspapers and magazines will generally be delivered at this time also. Legal and special mail will be delivered by a member of your Unit Team as soon as possible after it is received. The number of incoming letters you may receive will not be limited unless the number received places an unreasonable burden on the institution. You may not have an accumulation of more than 25 letters (including greeting cards) in your living quarters. You may only receive 25 photos (no Polaroid’s) per day. You may have 25 loose photos in your living quarters; the rest must be placed in a photo album.
“Special Mail” is a category of correspondence which may be sent out to 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. Attorney’s 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 Generals, 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 a member of your Unit Team. 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 as an attorney (the title “Esquire” does not qualify) 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.
OUTGOING SPECIAL MAIL AND LEGAL MAIL
Inmates must deliver their own outgoing special/legal mail directly to the Correctional Systems Officer who will be available by the Visiting Room elevator from 3:30 p.m. to 3:40 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Special mail may also be delivered during Correctional Systems Department Open House, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The inmate must show their Identification/Commissary Card to the Correctional Systems Officer at the time of delivery. If the piece of mail does not belong to you, if the return address on the envelope is inaccurate, or if it does not qualify as outgoing special mail (refer to the Correspondence Program Statement, 5265.11, Page 4,) it will not be accepted by the Correctional Systems Officer as special mail. Inmates housed in the Special Housing Unit will continue to give their special mail to the Officer and request it be treated as special mail. The Officer will then place the special mail in a designated mail bag to separate it from the general correspondence.
If special mail is considered a package i.e., weighs 16 ounces or more, a Form BP-329, Request Authorization to Mail Inmate Package must be obtained through your unit team. All outgoing special mail will be subject to x-raying before leaving the institution.
INMATE CORRESPONDENCE WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE NEWS MEDIA
You may write through Special Mail procedures to representatives of the news media if specified by name or title. You may not receive compensation or anything of value for correspondence with the news media. You 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
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 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 (it may not be sealed by the inmate).
Correspondence privileges must be approved at both facilities.
This policy is not limited to federal institutions. It includes any known penal facilities and residential reentry centers.
REJECTION OF CORRESPONDENCE
The Warden may reject correspondence sent by or to you if it is determined to be detrimental to the security, good order, or discipline for the institution, to the protection of the public, or if it might facilitate criminal activity. Examples include:
Matter which is not authorized to be mailed under law or postal regulations; Matter which depicts, describes, or encourages activities which may lead to the use of physical violence or group disruption;
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 you to protect property or funds that were legitimately yours at the time of your commitment. Thus, for example, you may correspond about refinancing a mortgage for your home or sign insurance papers; however, you may not operate (for example) a mortgage or insurance business while confined in the institution. We encourage you to settle these matters as soon as possible after your arrival.
NOTIFICATION OF REJECTION
The Warden or designee 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. You will also be notified of the rejection of correspondence and the reasons for it. You also have the right to appeal the rejection. Rejected correspondence ordinarily will be returned to the sender.
MAILING OF INMATE PROPERTY
Inmates wishing to have personal items mailed into the institution will send an inmate request to the department head responsible for the requested item as follows:
Unit Manager – release clothing.
Hospital Administrative Officer – orthopedic shoes, arch supports, prescription eyeglasses, prosthetic devices, and hearing aids.
Associate Warden – questionable item or items not covered in the other categories will be submitted to the Associate Warden for a decision.
The department head will inform the inmate of the decision. If the request is approved, the department head will complete the appropriate authorization form. The Mail Room Officer will not accept any item or package for delivery unless the authorization is on file.
Athletic items are available in the Commissary for purchase and may not be mailed in except as a special purchase order. In other words, you may not receive tennis shoes, athletic clothing, etc. from family or friends.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS/FORWARDING OF MAIL
The U.S. Postal Service will not accept change of address cards for multiple user P.O. Boxes. You must contact the sending company of any subscriptions to notify them, newspapers, magazines, and bulk mail will not be forwarded. Special/legal mail will be forwarded immediately. General Mail will be forwarded for only 30 days, while Special Mail will still be forwarded after 30 days. Any general mail received after 30 days will be returned to sender.
Inmates desiring to use certified mail (with return receipt requested) should obtain them from the mail room open house. An inmate is not provided services such as express mail, private carrier services, COD, or stamp collecting while confined.
INMATE TELEPHONE SYSTEM
(See current policy) When you arrive at FCI, Waseca, you will be given an opportunity to complete a telephone list of up to 30 numbers that you would like to call on the Inmate Telephone System (ITS). This list is given to your Counselor and reviewed by your Unit Team. Your Unit Team will forward the list to the ITS staff and the numbers will be entered into the computer at that time. It is your responsibility to keep track of the numbers on your telephone list. You will be allowed to use the ITS system by transferring funds from your commissary account to your ITS account by dialing 118 on any inmate telephone during posted phone hours.
ITS staff will create a phone access code for you as soon as you arrive. This number is required for you to use the system. This number is also very confidential and should never be shared with other inmates. Inmates are authorized 300 minutes per month of call time. These minutes can be used for both collect/prepaid and direct calls. Inmates 300 minutes are renewed each month on their scheduled validation date.
Before you can begin using the system, you must first purchase telephone credits from your commissary account to your ITS account. These are transferred in whole dollar amounts. Once you have received your access code, transferred funds to your telephone account, and had your numbers entered into the system, you can use the telephone to call your authorized numbers.
All calls are limited to 15 minutes so that everyone will have an opportunity to use the system. You will hear a warning tone approximately one minute before the call is disconnected. Three way calling and
call forwarding is prohibited. ALL INMATE TELEPHONES ARE SUBJECT TO MONITORING AND RECORDING.
Inmates in Disciplinary Segregation are allowed one call every 30 days and Administrative Detention may make a limited number of calls. Telephones will not be used to conduct a business.
Institutional phones may not be used without permission of a staff member. Telephones are to be used for lawful purposes only. Threats, extortion, and other criminal or prohibited behavior on the telephone may result in prosecution and disciplinary action. All inmate telephones are subject to monitoring and recording. Inmates must contact their Case Manager or Counselor to arrange an unmonitored attorney call. Inmates are encouraged to use the inmate phone system as much as possible, and to ensure that their attorney of choice is added to their telephone list. It is expected that each inmate will handle her calls in such a manner that will allow the equal use of the phones by all inmates. Calls should be limited in length when others are waiting.
Cell phones are prohibited and inmates found in possession/using will be charged with Code 108, Possession, Manufacture, or Introduction of a Hazardous Tool. In addition, the Cell Phone Contraband Act of 2010 calls for a penalty for being an inmate in possession of or providing an inmate with a cell phone or other wireless device with a fine or up to one year imprisonment or both.