The Mail Room conducts open house from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) to answer questions regarding mail and to accept outgoing special mail. FMC Rochester is an Administrative Facility; therefore, you will not be allowed to seal outgoing general correspondence. Outgoing general correspondence should be placed in the outgoing general mail boxes located on the units. All outgoing mail must contain a TRULINCS label with the appropriate address. Those inmates that are in special housing units will have their mail stamped “approved” by the unit officer because there is limited access to TRULINCS.
The TRULINCS generated labels will not be accepted as a return address, as they are required to be hand written. Pre-trial status inmates are not allowed to seal outgoing general mail. Your incoming mail will be opened by the mail room officer and processed. Incoming general correspondence will be forwarded to the unit to be distributed by the unit officer, generally after the 4:15 p.m. count. The unit officer is responsible for screening and sealing outgoing general correspondence, and he/she will place it with the outgoing mail to be picked up the following morning.
All types of outgoing mail or packages should contain the following information in the return address:
Full Committed Name
PMB 4000, Federal Medical Center
Rochester, MN 55903-4000
Special Mail (often referred to as Legal Mail) includes correspondence sent to the following: President and Vice President of the United States; the U.S. Department of Justice; 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; 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.
Inmates must deliver their own outgoing special mail directly to the hands of the Mail Room Officer during open house hours.
Inmates will be required to bring their commissary card with them for identification purposes. Mail room staff receiving the special mail will immediately confirm that the inmate delivering the mail is the same inmate reflected in the return address.
Staff will initial the mail and continue processing the mail in accordance with Bureau policy. Inmates in special housing or inmates who are medically unable to leave the unit will be required to hand deliver their outgoing special mail to a unit team member. Unit staff receiving the special mail will confirm that the inmate delivering the mail is the same inmate reflected in the return address. Unit staff will initial, date, and deliver the special mail to the mail room for continued processing in accordance with Bureau policy. Inmates may seal their outgoing special mail before submitting directly to staff for further processing and should identify it as LEGAL OR SPECIAL MAIL on the envelope. However, outgoing special 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 mail under another inmate’s return address will be considered for disciplinary action.
Outgoing special mail weighing 16 ounces or greater will be processed as a “package.” This requires using a BP-329, Request – Authorization to Mail Inmate Package. Outgoing special mail packages must be arranged through the unit team. These packages may be sealed and will not be opened unless contraband is apparent as a result of electronic scanning performed.
All outgoing special mail is subject to scanning by electronic means including, but not limited to x-ray, metal detector, and ion spectrometry devices. Inspection of sealed outgoing special mail by these methods may occur outside the inmate’s presence.
Electronic scanning is for the sole purpose of identifying harmful materials and cannot be used to read or review the content of outgoing special mail communication.
In the event suspected harmful materials are identified by electronic scanning, all necessary safety precautions must be taken to further inspect the potentially harmful materials. If the presence of harmful materials is confirmed, appropriate action will follow to include confiscation of the harmful materials and investigation for possible inmate disciplinary or criminal charges.
Insofar as possible under these circumstances, confiscated outgoing special mail will not be read by staff, and inmates will be informed as soon as possible of its disposition. Whenever possible, special mail will be returned to the inmate for re-sending.
All incoming special/legal mail must be properly identified in order to be treated as such. It is your responsibility to notify your attorney or the courts to include the statement “LEGAL OR SPECIAL MAIL – OPEN ONLY IN THE PRESENCE OF THE INMATE” on the envelope of any incoming legal/special mail. Inmate mail will then be processed by Special/Legal Mail procedures when identified on the envelope with the above statement (See Attachment E). Special/legal mail must be picked up by inmates at the Mail Room during open house hours. A list will be posted by the incoming door in the inmate dining hall identifying the inmates who have special/legal mail. Unit staff will deliver special/legal mail to inmates who are in special housing or who are medically unable to leave the unit.
You may not correspond with any other incarcerated individual in a state or local facility unless approval is granted by the Warden of each institution. You may not correspond with any other Federal inmate unless approval is granted by the respective Unit Managers at each facility. You may contact the correctional counselor to initiate this process.
You are responsible for placing the correct postage on any item to be mailed. Stamps must be purchased at Commissary as you cannot receive stamps through the mail.
Inmate Package Mail
Incoming: Your correctional counselor may approve incoming packages by completing and signing an Authorization to Receive Package or Property Form. Your counselor will give you directions to proceed with this process.
Material otherwise approved by Bureau policy, (for example, magazines, special mail, paperback books, educational or legal materials), received in package form must be clearly marked with the special mail/legal markings or the notation “Contents – Authorized Publications,” or must contain markings readily permitting the person processing such mail to ascertain the nature of the contents from the sender’s address and/or business.
A package received in the absence of an appropriately completed or expired BP-331(58) Form, or the markings as stated above, is considered unauthorized and will be returned to the sender. If necessary, a return address will be obtained from the inmate.
Additional information regarding mail procedures are referenced in the program statements and institution supplements on Correspondence and the Mail Management Manual.