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. Legal/Special mail must be hand delivered (with your commissary card) to the mail room during Legal Mail Call. Legal Mail Call is held Monday-Friday, except federal holidays, prior to work call.
Outgoing mail, except “Special Mail”, may not be sealed by inmates, and may be inspected and read by staff. Plain white envelopes are provides for inmates use. You must have your name, register number, and complete return address in the upper left hand corner.
Inmates must assume responsibility for the contents of all of their letters. Correspondence containing threats, extortion, etc., may result in prosecution for violation of Federal Laws. Inmates may be placed on restricted correspondence status based on misconduct or as a matter of classification. The inmate is notified of this placement and has the opportunity to respond.
There is no mail service on weekends and holidays.
The Bureau permits inmates to subscribe to and receive publications without prior approval. The term “publication” means a book, single issue of a magazine or newspaper, or materials addressed to a specific inmate, such as advertising, brochures, flyers, and catalogs. An inmate may receive soft-cover publication (paperback books, etc.) from any source. An inmate may receive hardcover publications only from a publisher or a book club. Accumulation of publications will be limited to five (5) magazine (not to be more than sixty (60) days old) and to the amount than can be neatly stored in the locker and/or shelf provided in each room, because of sanitation and fire safety reasons. Inmates are encouraged to advise the sender of a package (photos, books, magazines, etc.) to note the contents on the outside of the package.
The Warden will reject a publication if it is determined to be detrimental to the security, good order or discipline of the institution, or if it might facilitate criminal activity. Publications which may be rejected by the Warden include, but are not limited to, publications which meet one of the following criteria:
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.
“Special Mail” is a category of correspondence which may be sent out of the institution unopened and unread by staff, which includes correspondence to President and Vice-President of the United States, U.S. Attorney Offices, Surgeon General, U.S. Public Health Services, Secretary of the Army, Navy, or Air Force, U.S. Courts, U.S. Probations Officers, Members of the U.S. Congress, embassies and Consulates, Governors, State Attorneys’ General, Prosecuting Attorneys, Directors of State Department 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’s General, 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 the Counselor or Case Manager. These items will be checked for contraband and for qualifications 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 and the front of the envelope clearly indicates. “Special Mail – Open Only 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. It is the responsibility of the inmate to advise his attorney about this policy.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF INMATE
An inmate may write, through “Special Mail” procedures, to representatives of the news media if specified by name or title. The inmate may not receive compensation or anything of value from 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 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 and for content which is likely to promote either activity or conduct contrary to regulations.