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San Diego County Jails Ban Letters For Inmates

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore has a message for jail inmates: No more letters.

The sheriff announced Wednesday that letters for inmates at the department's seven jails will be returned to senders starting Sept. 1. It is an effort to prevent contraband from entering cells.

Cmdr. Richard Miller says drugs, weapons and needles have been hidden in letters. He recognizes that letter-writing is an inexpensive way to communicate, but says safety concerns prevailed.

Correspondence between inmates and their lawyers, courts and law enforcement agencies are exempt from the new rule.

But inmates will have to rely on e-mail and postcards to communicate with other outsiders. Postcards cannot be taped together or marked with paint, crayon, glitter, labels, stains or cosmetics.

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