An open-mail policy exists at FPC Duluth. You may generally correspond with whomever you please. Open-mail privileges may be withdrawn from individuals who abuse this privilege through obscene, threatening, or otherwise illegal correspondence. Letters to other correctional institutions are restricted, and such correspondence must be approved by staff. Unit Managers at each institution must approve of the correspondence if both inmates are housed in Federal Institutions and both inmates are members of the same immediate family or are a party or witness in a legal action in which both inmates are involved. Wardens of both institutions must approve of correspondence if one of the inmates is housed at a non-Federal Institution or if approval is being granted on the basis of exceptional circumstances.
a. Inspection of Mail: All incoming mail and publications will be opened and inspected for money, enclosures, and contraband by the Mail Room Officer. Any publications appearing to violate guidelines established by Program Statement 5266.10 “Incoming Publications,” will be forwarded to the Supervisory Correctional Systems Specialist (SCSS) for review. If the SCSS determines that a publication violates policy, it will be forwarded to the Warden or, in the Warden=s absence, the Acting Warden for final review. A member of the responsible Unit Team will inspect Legal Mail and “Special Correspondence” only in the presence of the inmate. The SCSS and Unit Managers will be responsible for monitoring these procedures to ensure compliance with policy.
b. Legal Mail and Special Correspondence: All mail, which qualifies as that to be opened in the presence of the inmate (refer to the Program Statement 5800.16 “Mail Management Manual” and Program Statement 5265.14 “Correspondence,” will be stamped by Mail Room staff to show the date and time of receipt in the Mail Room. A log will be maintained by Mail Room staff. This log will note:
(1) The sender of the correspondence.
(2) Name and register number of the inmate.
(3) Date and time received in the Mail Room.
(4) Name of the Unit Staff member delivering the correspondence to the inmate.
(5) Date and time envelope is delivered to inmate.
(6) Inmate signature, date, and time indicating receipt of the mail.
Incoming correspondence, with a return address qualifying as special mail (refer to the Program Statement 5265.14, “Correspondence”), is to be afforded special mail handling if the front of the envelope is clearly marked, Special Mail – Open Only in the Presence of the Inmate, or with similar language clearly indicating the particular item of mail qualifies as special mail and the sender requests the correspondence be opened only in the presence of the inmate. The sender need not be identified in the return address. However, mail from an attorney must have the attorney=s name indicated in the return address, as well as an indication that person is an attorney. Mail from the chambers of a Federal Judge or from a Member of U.S. Congress will be given special mail handling even though it does not contain the special mail marking to be opened in the presence of the inmate (or words to that effect).
Unit Staff will pick up Legal Mail and/or Special Correspondence daily from the Mail Room. Staff will mark in ink on the envelope indicating date, time, and signature of the staff member inspecting and delivering the mail. The inmate may be requested (but is not required) to sign the log, indicating receipt of mail. If the inmate refuses to sign, staff will write “refused” in the log. Opening and inspecting this mail will be done by Unit Staff in the inmate’s presence in the centralized mail processing area.