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Sheriff and ACLU Reach Agreement on Mail Issue

May 23, 2012
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   05/24/12 Marshall County Sheriff Tom Chamberlin and his attorney A. Howard Williams have reached an agreement with Kevin Falk of the ACLU.

During the April 16th Commissioner’s meeting County Attorney Jim Clevenger

discussed a potential class action lawsuit against the Marshall County Sheriff in regards to a mail new policy that was implemented April 1st.  The policy restricted incoming mail for inmates to postcards only.   Prior to April first inmates were able to receive letters from family and friends and sometimes those letters include photographs, newspaper clippings, and pictures drawn by family children.

The agreement reached earlier this month will again allow regular mail along with postcards into the Marshall County Jail. With the case resolved, Mr. Falk will waive any claims for attorney fees.

 

The new policy calls for all incoming mail to have a legible return address on the outside of the envelope and on the correspondence itself as well.

Incoming correspondence will not have any of the following, and will be subject to confiscation and placement into the inmate’s property or returned: Stickers, Unknown Substances, Discolorations, Adhesives, Powders, Glitter, U.S. Currency, and Mechanized or battery operated devices.   Newspaper and magazine clippings are not allowed although inmates may receive newspapers and magazines thought a subscription delivered directly to the jail by the publisher.  The same would hold true for books or pages out of a book.   Anything else deemed to be a risk to staff, inmates or general safety will not be allowed.

Inmates will be given a Mail Confiscation Notice for any correspondence that has been confiscated or returned for any purpose.

All envelopes will be opened, inspected and checked for prohibited property, contraband and funds for deposit.  Envelopes will be discarded once the inspection is complete, and the inmate will only receive his/her correspondence.

No packages or items larger than a legal-sized envelope will be accepted as personal correspondence.  Privileged mail is exempt from this rule, anything from an Attorney, Courts, Probation, Parole, and Religious Entities.

Pictures are allowed, as long as they are not lewd, obscene or pornographic in nature, and they do not expose the breasts of females, buttocks or genital areas.

Greeting cards will be accepted, as long as they meet the criteria above, and are no larger than a standard large-greeting card size (5 ¼” X 7 ¼”).

In reaching this agreement with the ACLU it is also understood that Marshall County Sheriff and others Sheriff’s in State of Indiana will continue to look for ways in providing a safe environment to County employee’s and reduce incidents of contraband entering the jail facility through the mail. I have attached the new intake mail policy.

 

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