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 Warren Center. Outgoing mail may be sealed in accordance with the Bureau’s open correspondence privileges for minimum security institutions. The outgoing envelope must have the Federal Prison Camp 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 or extortion may result in disciplinary action or referral for prosecution of violation of federal laws.
Inmates may be placed on restricted correspondence status based on misconduct or for security reasons. The inmate is notified of this placement and has the opportunity to respond. There is no mail service on weekends or holidays.
Inmates are responsible for placing outgoing correspondence in the mailbox located in Warren Center. It shall be stamped and sealed with the proper return address.
Mail will be distributed to the inmates Monday through Friday (except holidays) by the Unit Officer. Legal and special mail will be delivered by the Correctional Counselors 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 and unit on the envelope to aid the prompt delivery of mail.
All inmate packages received at the institution must have prior authorization as described on page 31 under “Packages”. Without prior authorization, all packages will be returned to the sender.
The Bureau permits inmates to subscribe to and receive publications without prior approval. However, hardcover publications and newspapers must come only from a publisher, book club, or bookstore. An inmate at FPC Yankton may receive other soft-cover materials (for example, paperback books, newspaper clippings, or magazines) from any source.
However, this and other such material (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 or business. A package received in the absence of an appropriately completed BP Form 331, or the markings as stated above, will be considered unauthorized and will be returned to the sender. The package will be noted “REFUSED- RETURN TO SENDER– AUTHORIZATION FOR RECEIPT NOT OBTAINED” or words to that effect.
Special Mail 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, Prosecuting Attorneys, Governors, U.S. Courts and State Courts.
INCOMING SPECIAL MAIL
For incoming correspondence to be treated as Special Mail, it must (1) have the statement “SPECIAL MAIL-OPEN ONLY IN THE PRESENCE OF THE INMATE”, written on the face of the envelope, and (2) the sender must be adequately identified. The attorneys name, title, and address must be clearly indicated in the return address portion of the envelope.
A staff member will open incoming Special Mail in the presence of the inmate. This is usually done by the Correctional Counselor. These items will be checked for physical contraband and for qualification as special mail. Without adequate identification as Special Mail, staff will treat the mail as general correspondence. In this case, the mail may be opened, read, and inspected.
OUTGOING SPECIAL MAIL
The outgoing special mail drop-box in Warren Center has been eliminated. Open House for mailing out special mail only will be held Monday through Friday from 7:45 A.M. to 8:00 A.M. excluding holidays and weekends. All inmates must deliver their own outgoing special mail directly to the Mail Room open house window and bring their Inmate account card for identification purposes. Outgoing special mail must have the accurate return address. 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 may still be sealed by the inmate before submitting directly to staff for further processing. The routine Mail Room Open House will still be conducted Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30A.M. o 12:00 P.M.
In addition, outgoing special mail weighing 16 ounces or greater must be processed as a package according to Bureau of Prisons P.S. 5800.10, Section 314, Mail Management. A Request-Authorization to Mail Inmate Package, form BP-329, must be completed by the inmate and brought to the Mail Room along with the package to be mailed out and the Supervisory Correctional Systems Specialist or CMC will sign the package authorization as the approving official at that time.
The private nature of outgoing special mail communication will not be compromised and will be processed in accordance with Bureau policy with regard to time-frames and these modified procedures. If you have any questions, please address them to Kathy Schwader, Supervisory Correctional Systems Specialist.
INMATE CORRESPONDENCE WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE NEWS MEDIA
An inmate may write to representatives of the news media if specified by name or title.
An 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 federal 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 may promote either illegal activity or conduct contrary to regulations.
CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN CONFINED INMATES
Refer to current policy on how to request correspondence approval with another inmate. Ordinarily this privilege is only extended to members of the immediate family and co-defendants with pending appeals. All requests for these privileges are initiated at the Unit Team level.
REJECTION OF CORRESPONDENCE
The Warden may reject correspondence or a publication sent by or to an inmate if it is determined to be detrimental to the security, good order, or discipline of the institution, to the protection of the public, or if it might facilitate criminal activity. Examples include:
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.
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.
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 within 20 days of receipt. Rejected correspondence ordinarily will be returned to the sender.
The department authorizing a package will be responsible for picking up and distributing approved packages to the inmate. A copy of the authorization will be forwarded to R & D for filing. The authorizing department will ensure any package containing an unauthorized item will result in the entire package being refused and returned to the sender at the inmates expense or donated to the institution within two weeks. The authorizing department is responsible for all processing transactions.
All packages for release clothing must be authorized in advance by the inmates unit team. A BP-331(58), Authorization to Receive Package or Property, will be completed with the notation “RELEASE PACKAGE” (for filing purposes) written on the top of the form. The original and two copies will be forwarded to the mail room. Two copies will be given to the inmate with instructions to have his correspondent enclose one copy within the package. The package may not be allowed in until the inmate is within thirty days of release. Once the package is received into the institution, it will be delivered to the R & D area for further processing. (See Program Statement 5800.10, chapter 3, paragraph 310, for further instructions.)
All outgoing inmate packages must have a Request Authorization to Mail Inmate Package
BP-239(58) filled out and signed when staff deliver the package to the mail room.
Recreation Staff: Will authorize all inmate packages with recreation and hobby craft items. This will follow the policy found in the institution supplement, Inmate Recreation Programs.
Education Staff: Will authorize all inmate packages containing any education materials.
Correctional Counselors: Will authorize only packages that do not contain any of the above items.
Medical Staff: Will authorize all inmate packages containing any medical materials.
The staff member authorizing the package will seal the package in front of the inmate and will deliver the package to the mail room. The inmate will place the needed postage on the package at the next open house. Packages which do not have postage placed on them at the next mail room open house will be returned to the department authorizing the package. At this time it may be considered contraband and be disposed of following the directions found in Program Statement 5580.07, Inmate Personal Property.