Legal correspondence from attorneys will be treated as Special Mail if it is properly marked. The envelope must be marked with the attorney’s name with an indication that he/she is an attorney, and the front of the envelope must be marked “Special Mail-Open only in the presence of the inmate.” It is the responsibility of the inmate to advise his attorney about this policy. If legal mail is not properly marked, it will be opened as general correspondence.
Attorneys should ordinarily make advance appointments for each visit. Attorneys are encouraged to visit during the regular visiting hours. However, visits from an attorney can be arranged at other times based on the circumstances of each case and available staff. Attorney visits will be subject to visual monitoring, but not audio monitoring.
During attorney visits, legal materials may not be transferred. Inmates are expected to handle the transfer of legal materials through the mail.
Attorney Phone Calls
To make an unmonitored legal telephone call you must submit an Inmate Request to Staff form to the Unit Team for approval. Consideration will be given if there is an imminent court deadline that cannot be met through mail correspondence, and proof can be provided of the pending court action. If approved, Unit staff will make provisions for you to make an unmonitored legal telephone call.
The Law Library includes a complete selection of legal reference books which contain an extensive range of information on federal legislative and case law. It also includes the Federal Prison System Policy Statements. Manual and electric typewriters are available in the LRC for inmate legal work. Inmates provide the material to utilize the electric typewriters.
Under the provisions of 18 USC 4004, Case Managers are authorized to “administer oaths” for documents. A recent change in the law allows a statement to the effect that papers which an inmate signs are “true and correct under penalty of perjury” will suffice in federal courts and other federal agencies, unless specifically directed otherwise. Some states will not accept a government notarization for real estate transactions, automobile sales, etc. In these cases, it will be necessary to contact unit staff for arrangements for a notary public.
Copies of Legal Materials
In accordance with institution procedures, inmates may copy materials necessary for their research or legal matters. The institution card operated machine is available in the Library Research Center for inmate use. Individuals who have no funds and who can demonstrate a clear need for legal exhibits to be copied, will have their counselor submit a letter stating their specific need to the Education Department. These letters will be good for thirty days.
Federal Tort Claims
The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) provides a monetary remedy for money damages against the United States for injury or loss of property or personal injury or death caused by the negligent act or wrongful act or omission of any employee of the agency while acting within the scope of his/her office or employment.
Inmate may secure appropriate Administrative Tort Claim forms, identified as Standard Form 95(Claim for Damage, Injury or Death), from the institution law library, the FCAllenwood Legal Services Department, or their Unit Team. Inmates must submit an inmate Request to Staff to obtain the SF-95. Inmates should utilize the SF-95 to file their claim(s). The same form can be utilized by inmate visitors, former inmates, attorneys, etc., by request to the FCC Legal Services Department.
Freedom of Information/Privacy Act of 1974
The Privacy Act of 1974 forbids the release of information from agency records without written request by, or without the prior written consent of, the individual to whom the record pertained, except for specific instances. All formal requests for access to records about another person and/or agency record other than those pertaining to themselves (including Program Statements and Operations Memoranda) shall be processed through the Freedom of Information Act, 5 USC
Inmate Access to Central Files
An inmate may request review of disclosable portions of his central file prior to the individual’s parole hearing.
Inmate Access to Other Documents
An inmate can request access to the “Non-Disclosable Documents” in his central file and medical file, or other documents concerning himself that are not in his central file or medical file, by submitting a “Freedom of Information Act Request” to the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, Attention: FOIA Request. Such a request must briefly describe the nature of records wanted and approximate dates covered by the record.
The inmate must also provide his register number and date of birth for identification purposes.
A request on behalf of an inmate by an attorney, for records concerning that inmate, will be treated as a “Privacy Act Request”, if the attorney has forwarded an inmate’s written
consent to disclose materials. If a document is deemed to contain information exempt from disclosure, any reasonable part of the record will be provided to the attorney after the deletion of the exempt portions.