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NCJ Number: 210672 Find in a Library
Title: Screening Inmate Mail for Threatening or Dangerous Materials
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:67  Issue:4  Dated:July 2005  Pages:88-102
Author(s): Tripp Brinkley
Date Published: July 2005
Page Count: 4
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article addresses what correctional facilities can do to screen inmate's mail for threatening or dangerous material.
Abstract: Threats, devices, and suspicious material are not uncommon to inmates’ mail. Inmates seeking revenge often mail threatening letters with powders or other suspicious substances to prosecutors, witnesses, and others they blame for their incarceration; inmates approaching their release dates have been known to mail threats in an effort to remain in prison. There are approximately 200 postal inspectors nationwide, and since 2001, they have responded to more than 20,000 incidents of suspicious powders, hoaxes, and other threats. Of those incidents, a surprising number originate in correctional facilities. There are currently a variety of tools to reduce suspicious, outgoing mail in correctional facilities yet administrators may not be aware of available solutions to the problems, due to the privacy of U.S. mail and legal statutes preventing the opening of mail. However, if an inmate consents to sending or receiving mail at the institution, the inmate’s mail, both incoming and outgoing is subject to being opened, examined, and censored, and until the mail is handed over to the U.S. Postal Service, it is the property of the institution. With a little prevention and education on the part of correctional authorities, correctional facilities can help reduce incidents of suspicious or dangerous materials, frauds, and contraband in the mail.
Main Term(s): Postal crimes
Index Term(s): Corrections management; Hazardous substances or materials; Inmate discipline; Inmate misconduct; Inmates; Mail bombs; Postal laws; Postal security; Security management
Note: Special Edition on Security Technology.
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