Inspecting Mail for Contraband

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Inspecting Mail for Contraband


Gordon Graham
Category: Corrections

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for corrections.

Contraband can make its way into the facility through the mail.

Today’s Tip is directed to our friends on the custody side, and it deals with the use of the mail to smuggle contraband into our jails.  

There are several types of contraband that can make its way into the facility through the mail. Illegal drugs and explicit photographs are obvious examples. But stamps, stickers, labels, tape, staples and paperclips also present security concerns. And they can also easily make their way into the jail in an envelope. 

Liquid forms of various drugs can be placed on stickers, labels and stamps. These items can be affixed to the outside of envelopes, or placed inside, and sent to inmates.  

Tape, such as you might find sealing an envelope, could be used to keep a door from locking. Staples and paperclips can be used to open handcuffs or door locks. 

Most of the time, before mail is delivered to an inmate, it should be searched. There are some specific exceptions such as mail from an attorney. All labels, stickers and stamps should be removed. You should open each letter and shake it out to see what falls out. If it is a card, like a birthday card, unfold it to see if anything is hidden inside. Then actually look inside each envelope to see if anything is taped or glued inside.  

We should take the time to search each piece of mail before we deliver it to an inmate. We should never assume that someone else has already inspected it and removed all contraband. 

Please do your part to help keep our jails safe and free of contraband by responsibly handling inmate mail. 

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham, signing off. 

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