Friday, August 31, 2012
Today is the last day to send a letter to an inmate at the San Diego County Sheriff's Department's seven jails, because starting Saturday only postcards and email will be accepted.
Under the new policy that begins Saturday, inmates will only be able to receive email and postcards. Letters with a postmark prior to Saturday will be delivered, but those dated Saturday and later will be returned to the sender, according to a sheriff's department statement.
Sheriff's officials said the policy's goal was to promote safety by limiting contraband such as drugs and weapons from being brought into jails via the envelopes.
"Historically we have always accepted incoming letters and historically there's always been a problem and an issue with mail coming in,'' Cmdr. Rich Miller of the Sheriff's Detention Services Bureau said in a video explaining the policy. "There have been numerous cases and attempts by those, unfortunately, in the public to send in contraband, drugs and even weapons.''
Exceptions to the policy were legal mail between an inmate and an attorney, courts or another law enforcement agency.
Incoming postcards will not be accepted if they are layered or altered, or are marked with paint, glitter, labels, stains or cosmetics. Those that depict nudity, weapons, gang references, criminal activity, codes or writing that could incite violence, riot or racism also will not be accepted, the sheriff's department said. Photo postcards will be accepted.
Inmates can still obtain paper and stamped envelopes for outgoing letters, but correspondence between detention facilities will also be limited to postcards, sheriff's officials said.