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Old 04-18-2003, 07:06 PM
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Default New mail regs for TDC

Following are the new regulations on the mail for TDC;

Message: 1
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 09:52:30 -0500
From: "Meredith Martin Rountree" <meredithmr@earthlink.net>
Subject: RE: proposed new mail rules

TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE

(936) 437-6700 OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL Fax: (936)
437-6994
P. O. Box 4004 - Huntsville, Texas 77342-4004
March 5, 2003

RE: Proposed Changes to TDCJ

THROUGH: Carl Reynolds, Correspondence Rules General Counsel

FROM: Sharon Felfe, Director of Preventive Law, Office of General Counsel

Attached are proposed changes to the Correspondence Rules used by TDCJ-ID. I have drafted these changes in response to concerns voiced by Classification, the Director of TDCJ-ID, and the Deputy Director of TDCJ-ID, along with concerns raised by the current budget crisis. The concerns will be discussed along with a summary of the proposed changes
below. The Deputy Director of ID conducted an online survey of other deputy directors around the United States to determine whether and under what conditions other states permitted offender to offender correspondence and the clipping of publications. Responses indicated that the majority of states do not permit unrestricted offender to
offender correspondence and do not permit the clipping of publications.
The proposed rule changes have been coordinated with the Assistant Director in Programs and Services responsible for overseeing the Uniform Offender Mail System, the Deputy Director of TDCJ-ID, and the Classification Department.

Rules 3.9.1.1 and 3.9.1.2

Rule 3.9.1.1 has been amended to account for the offender to offender correspondence restrictions contained in Rule 3.9.1.2. Rule 3.9.1.2 prohibits correspondence between offenders unless the offenders are immediate family members, the offenders have a child together, the
offenders are co-parties in a currently active legal matter, or the offender is providing a relevant witness affidavit in an active case. Because offenders will no longer be permitted unrestricted communication among themselves, the disciplinary provisions currently contained in Rule 3.9.1.2 are no longer necessary and have been deleted.

This rule change is modeled on the correspondence rules used by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (appearing at Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations section 540.17) and the rules used by several of the states strictly limiting offender to offender correspondence.

This rule change addresses several concerns. First, offender to offender correspondence is one of the primary avenues of communication among offenders who participate in gang or other illegal activity. It has been determined that several serious incidents occurring in recent years were planned by offenders using the TDCJ offender mail system.
Security Threat Group Officers, who currently spend a great deal of time monitoring offender to offender correspondence, will be released in large part to monitor gang activity in other ways on the units and otherwise assist units experiencing a severe staff shortage. Second, the strain on the unit mailrooms brought about by pending staff reductions will be greatly lessened. Currently, at many large units, some 40% to 50% of the incoming and outgoing general correspondence
consists of offender to offender correspondence. Additionally, at units experiencing staff shortages in the mailrooms, overtime is being expended in order to process the large amounts of offender mail. Reducing the amount of mail passing through the mailrooms should help reduce overtime and assist staff in processing the mail in a timely
fashion. Finally, the rule change permits offenders to engage in the important activity of communicating with their family members.

Rule 3.9.1.4

Rule 3.9.1.4 has been amended to prohibit tablets or writing pads with stapled binding from permissible stationery supplies. Several recent incidents at TDCJ-ID units have revealed that persons responsible for shipping stationery supplies to offenders under the correspondence rules have hidden money and weapons in the binding of tablets and writing pads. Close investigation has also revealed the extreme difficulty in properly searching the binding of each and every writing pad arriving at a TDCJ unit without destroying the binding. This rule change will permit offenders to still receive appropriate amounts of paper on which to write while reducing the difficulty in controlling the contraband
arriving on the units in stationery supplies.

Rules 3.9.5.1 and 3.9.5.2.A

Rule 3.9.5.1 has been amended to permit the suspension of
correspondence between offenders if one of the parties commits a serious violation of the mail regulations. The current rule permits the suspension of correspondence between "a person" and a "particular offender." This rule change is simply a clarification so that it may not be limited to
correspondence between freeworld persons and offenders. As the disciplinary process is no longer necessary to prohibit communication among offenders, the portion of the rule addressing offender to offender correspondence in the disciplinary context has been deleted. To the extent correspondence privileges need to be suspended among offenders, this rule change makes that suspension possible. Rule 3.9.5.2.A, which provides a definition for the serious violation of the Correspondence Rules in disciplinary proceedings, has been deleted as no longer necessary. Offenders will still be able to appeal the suspension of
correspondence privileges through the Director's Review Committee.

Rule 3.9.11.2

Rule 3.9.11.2 has been deleted. This rule permitted the clipping of pages from a publication that would otherwise be denied in its entirety in accordance with Rule 3.9.10.6. Most states do not permit clipping from publications that would otherwise be denied in their entirety because of the time-consuming nature of clipping. The current version of the rule permits the delivery of publications that would otherwise be
denied in their entirety to offenders if the objectionable material is contained on five pages or less and those five or fewer pages are removed from the publication prior to delivery. Removing this procedure from the processing of the mail on the units will better enable unit mailrooms to process offender mail with reduced staff.

Rule 3.9.14.4

Rule 3.9.14.4 has been changed to update the membership of the Director's Review Committee in order to account for the several changes in the organization of TDCJ and its various divisions and the titles of persons in the administration of those areas.

Timing and Notice

We are requesting that the Board order that these rule changes become effective on May 1, 2003. This will permit dissemination of notice to all affected offenders and units and permit unit and administrative staff to prepare for the changes. We are also requesting that the portions of the rules changes regarding the restrictions on offender to
offender correspondence and the clipping of publications be applied at the same time to all TDCJ facilities to the extent that these practices are not already prohibited. The correspondence rules used by transfer facilities, substance abuse felony punishment facilities, and state jail facilities are currently being examined for revisions that would make them more consistent with the TDCJ-ID rules and current practices.
Those suggested revisions are expected to be submitted to the Board at the May Board meeting.

3.9 CORRESPONDENCE RULES

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Institutional Division wants to help offenders keep in touch with their families and friends. As a general proposition, all incoming and outgoing correspondence, except as otherwise provided here, is subject to delivery, inspection, and rejection in accordance with the following rules:

3.9.1 Rules and Instructions Regarding General Correspondence

3.9.1.1
An offender may correspond with as many persons as he or she chooses, except as provided in Rule 3.9.1.2. There is no restriction placed upon the length of incoming or outgoing correspondence. All offender mail must be sent and received through duly authorized channels. Offenders must put their name, number and current address on each envelope. Offenders must not smuggle letters in or out of the institution. Mail boxes for depositing mail by offenders shall be of such a size and design that tampering with or stealing of mail by offenders will be precluded.

3.9.1.2.1
Offenders may not correspond with other offenders except under the following circumstances:
(a) the offenders are immediate family members (parents,
step-parents, children, step-children, spouses, common law spouses, and siblings);
(b) the offenders have a child together, as proven through a birth certificate and the parental rights have not been terminated;
(c) the offenders are co-parties in a currently active legal matter; or
(d) the offender is providing a relevant witness affidavit in an active case.

Offenders may be denied permission to correspond
with
(a) minors whose parents or guardians object in writing to the correspondence, except an offender's own child or step-child;
(b) individuals who request in writing that further correspondence not be sent to them by the offender; and
(c) individuals who have attempted to send contraband into the institution or otherwise committed a serious violation of the correspondence rules.

If after a "major" disciplinary hearing, a unit disciplinary committee finds an offender guilty of a serious violation of the Correspondence Rules that involves correspondence between offenders (as defined in Rule.3.9.5.2.A), on the basis of evidence that includes a copy of the offending correspondence, it may restrict the subject offender's ability
both to send correspondence to other offenders and to send
correspondence to other offenders and to receive correspondence from other offenders for a period not exceeding two years. Despite such restriction, the subject offenders must be permitted to correspond
(a) to immediate family members (parents, step-parents, children, step-children, spouses, common law spouses, and siblings) and
(b) with any other prisoners about legal matters in accordance with the Uniform Access to Courts, Counsel and Public Officials Rules. This disciplinary action may be appealed through the disciplinary appeal process.

3.9.1.3
Should the Bureau of Classification disapprove correspondence with a particular individual, a written notice of
disapproval and a statement of the reason, therefore, shall be sent to the offender and the would-be correspondent. At the same time the would-be correspondent and offender should be notified of their right to and the procedure for appeal. Whereupon, the offender or the would-be
correspondent may appeal the Bureau's decision through the
Correspondence Review Procedure outlined in rule 3.9.14. An offender or a correspondent may apply for reconsideration of the denial after the passage of six (6) months.

3.9.1.4
Any type of stationery, whether bought at the commissary, or mailed from sources mentioned in Rule 3.9.6.1 as well as
stationery authorized for issuance to indigent offenders, may be used in correspondence. Further, stationery sold through the commissary or issued to indigent offenders will contain no wording or notice of any sort. Stationery is herein defined as any color paper, not to exceed the size of 9" X 15", or unstamped envelopes, including carbon paper, but excluding any paper or envelope with names, addresses or
letterhead, and excluding tablets or writing pads with stapled binding.

3.9.1.5
One copy of each issue of The Echo may be sent to a
correspondent.

3.9.1.6
All general correspondence shall be subject to the right of inspection and rejection by the unit mailroom officers. Spot
checking by scanning done frequently enough to maintain security may be sufficient on the correspondence of certain offenders who exercise the mail privilege in a responsible and mature manner. All outgoing or incoming letters to and from offenders and enclosures such as clipping, photographs or the like shall be disapproved for mailing or receipt only
if the content falls as a whole or in significant part into any of the following categories:
a. The letter contains threats of physical harm against any person or place or threats of criminal activity.

b. The letter threatens blackmail or extortion.

c. The letter concerns sending contraband in or out of the
institutions.

d. The letter concerns plans to escape or unauthorized entry.

e. The letter concerns plans for activities in violation of
institutional rules.

f. The letter concerns plans for future criminal activity.

g. The letter is in code and its contents are not understood by the reader.

h. The letter solicits gifts of goods or money under false
pretenses or for payment to other offenders.

I. The letter contains a graphic presentation of sexual behavior that is in violation of the law.

j. The letter contains information, which if communicated would create a clear and present danger of violence or physical harm to a human being.

The offender and the sender or addressee will be provided a written statement of the disapproval and a statement of the reason therefore within seventy-two (72) hours of the receipt of said correspondence; this notice will be given on Correspondence Denial Forms. The offender will either be allowed to review the correspondence at the time of
notification or will be given a sufficiently detailed description of the rejected correspondence to permit effective utilization of the appeal procedures. The offender or the sender or the addressee may appeal the mailroom officer's decision through the Correspondence Review Procedure outlined in Rule 3.9.14.

3.9.1.7
All mail procedures, including delivery, pick up ornotifications, will be conducted by TDCJ-ID employees only and will be during waking hours whenever possible. No offender is to handle another offender's mail, either incoming or outgoing. All incoming mail, including packages, will be delivered within forty-eight (48) hours of receipt, except on weekends or holidays when seventy-two (72) hours is allowed (if the holiday immediately precedes or follows the weekend).
All outgoing mail, including packages, will be delivered to a U.S. Postal Officer within forty-eight (48) hours, except on weekends or holiday when seventy-two (72) hours is allowed (if the holiday immediately precedes or follows the weekend).

3.9.1.8
Should contraband be found in an incoming letter or
publication, the contraband if possible should be removed the letter or publication delivered to the offender. For the purpose of these correspondence rules, "contraband" shall be defined as only any physical item that presents a substantial danger to the safety or security of the staff, offenders or institution, and shall not, therefore, include any written material disapproved for its content. Under no circumstances
shall inspection for contraband be deemed to require the reading or scanning of correspondence. If the contraband cannot be removed from the letter or publication, the letter shall not be delivered to the offender. In either case, the rejection is subject to Rule 3.9.14.

3.9.1.9
Offender's mail, whether incoming or outgoing, shall be
handled with all reasonable dispatch.

3.9.2 Rules and Instructions Regarding Special Correspondence

3.9.2.1
Offenders may write and receive sealed and uninspected
letters directly to and from members of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, the Director, and all Assistant Directors and Wardens of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Institutional Division. Sealed and uninspected mail from and to offenders shall not be opened for inspection or impeded or delayed in its transmission except as provided in Rule 3.9.2.2 herein, if addressed to or received from any court of
the United States or any of the States of the United States; any member of the Legislature of the States of the United States or any member of the Congress of the United States; the President of the United States or the Governor of any State of the United States; the Attorney General of the United States or any attorney in the United States Department of
Justice; the Director or any agent of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation or any state or local police agency; the Attorney General or any Assistant Attorney General of any State; any member or commissioner of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles; the Director or Assistant Director or any official of any local, state or federal governmental agency. All outgoing Special Correspondence shall be sent sealed and uninspected whether or not addressed to a specific named official. Incoming Special Correspondence from a specific named
official will be delivered to the offender sealed and uninspected. Incoming Special Correspondence not from a specific named official may be opened and inspected for contraband only. The inspection shall be in the offender's presence. All incoming Special Correspondence envelopes
shall be prominently stamped as received by TDCJ-ID or cancelled so that franked(?) government envelopes cannot be reused.

3.9.2.2
In individual cases, where probable cause exists to believe these correspondence rules or the law is being violated
thereby, incoming Special Correspondence may be opened and inspected upon obtaining written permission of the Director, or in his absence a designated Assistant Director. Such inspection may only be in the presence of the offender and only for the purpose of detecting enclosures constituting contraband; it must take place within forty-eight (48) hours of the receipt of the correspondence in the Texas
Department of Criminal Justice - Institution Division. No
correspondence between the offender and any special correspondent may be read. A written notice of the inspection shall be sent to the sender within seventy-two (72) hours of obtaining written consent.

3.9.2.3
Should an enclosure constituting contraband be found
in an inspection pursuant to Rule 3.9.2.2, the contraband shall not be delivered to the offender. A written notice of the rejection and a statement of the reasons therefore shall be sent to the offender and thecorrespondent within seventy-two (72) hours of the rejection. The offender shall either be allowed to review the contraband at the time of the notification or will be given a sufficiently detailed description
of the rejected contraband to permit effective utilization of the appeal procedures. At the same time the correspondent and the offender shall be notified of their right to and the procedure for appeal. Either the offender or the correspondent may appeal the rejection through the
Correspondence Review Procedure outlined in Rule 3.9.14.

3.9.3 Rules and Instructions Regarding Attorney Correspondence

3.9.3.1
All outgoing correspondence to any licensed attorney or legal aid society (which is herein defined as an organization providing legal services to offenders or other persons) may be sealed. No correspondence from an offender to any licensed attorney or legal aid society may be opened or read. No incoming or outgoing attorney or legal aid society correspondence shall be delayed for more than forty-eight (48) hours, except over weekends when seventy-two (72)
hours is allowed, to make the determination of whether the correspondent is a licensed attorney or legal aid society.

3.9.3.2
All incoming correspondence from any licensed attorney
or any legal aid society may be opened and inspected for contraband only. The inspection shall be in the offender's presence. No correspondence to an offender from any licensed attorney or legal aid society may be read.

3.9.3.3
Should an enclosure constituting contraband be found, the contraband shall be rejected. A written notice of the rejection
and a statement of the reason therefore shall be sent to the offender and to the correspondent within seventy-two (72) hours of the rejection. The offender shall either be allowed to review the contraband at the time of notification or will be given a sufficiently detailed description of the rejected contraband to permit effective utilization of the appeal
procedures. Either the offender or the correspondent may appeal the rejection through the Correspondence Review Procedure outlined in Rule 3.9.14.

3.9.4 Rules and Instruction Regarding Media Correspondence

3.9.4.1
Offenders may send sealed letters to members of the
editorial and reporting staff of any newspaper or magazine listed in Gale Directory of Publications or the Editor & Publisher Year Book, or the editorial and reporting staff of any radio or television station. Other members of the media, including free lance members, may petition to the Director's Review Committee to receive sealed letters from offenders. No correspondence from an offender to any media
correspondent shall be delayed for more than forty-eight (48) hours, except on weekends when seventy-two (72) hours is allowed, to make the determination of whether the correspondent is a media correspondent.

3.9.4.2
All incoming correspondence from any media correspondent may be opened and inspected for contraband only. The
inspection shall be in the offender's presence. No correspondence to an offender from any media correspondent may be read.

3.9.4.3
Should an enclosure constituting contraband be found, the contraband shall be rejected. A written notice of the rejection
and a statement of the reason, therefore, shall be sent to the offender and to the correspondent within seventy-two (72) hours of the rejection. The offender shall either be allowed to review the contraband at the time of notification or will be given a sufficiently detailed description of the rejected contraband to permit effective utilization of the appeal procedures. Either the offender or the correspondent may
appeal the rejection through the Correspondence Review Procedure outlined in Rule 3.9.14.

3.9.5 Suspension of Correspondence Privileges

3.9.5.1
An offender or other A person who commits a serious
violation of institutional mail regulations may be prohibited from any further correspondence with a particular offender and may be placed on a negative mail list of persons with whom that particular offender may not correspond. Within seventy-two (72) hours of such addition to a negative mail list, a notice, accompanied by a statement of the reason
therefore, shall be sent to the removed person and to the offender. Within the same time, period, the disallowed person and the offender shall also be notified of the right to and the procedure for appeal. Either person involved may appeal the action through the Correspondence Review Procedure outlined in Rule 3.9.14. No suspension of
correspondence shall take place other than as provided in Rules 3.9.1.2, 3.9.5.1 , and 3.9.5.1.A.

3.9.5.1.A
An Offender who has been restricted from sending
correspondence to and receiving correspondence from other offenders as a result of a disciplinary conviction for a serious violation of the Correspondence Rules may apply to the Director's Review Committee for a restoration of full or partial correspondence rights six months after the disciplinary conviction. The Director's Review Committee shall restore full or partial correspondence with other offenders if it finds that the offender is not likely to commit another serious violation of the Correspondence Rules which involves offender-to-offender correspondence. If the offender's application is denied, he may reapply every six months thereafter. Where the Director's Review Committee decides not to restore full correspondence rights, it shall attempt to restore partial correspondence rights.

3.9.5.2
TDCJ-ID will not suspend correspondence privileges as
provided in Rule 3.9.1.2 and 3.9.5.1 for sending contraband unless the contraband involved presents a serious threat to the security of the institution and the safety of the staff and offenders.

3.9.5.2.A
For purposes of Rule 3.9.1.2, which permits TDCJ-ID to
restrict an offender from sending and receiving correspondence to and from other offenders as discipline, a serious violation of the Correspondence Rules involves the subject offender's sending or attempting to send correspondence through the United States mail to another offender which includes either of the following:
a. Information or instruction which, if communicated, would create a direct threat of violence or physical harm to a human being; or
b. Plans for future criminal activity which, if communicated, would facilitate such future criminal activity and would create a direct threat to institutional security.

3.9.6 Packages

3.9.6.1
Packages may not be sent to offenders by individuals.
TDCJ-ID will permit the delivery of packages of stationery from legitimate suppliers and vendors of stationery (a vendor or supplier of stationery need not register in advance with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Institutional Division in order to be a "legitimate" supplier or vendor), subject to its right of inspection. Packages of publications may be sent to offenders by publishers or publication suppliers, including bookstores. Special provisions are made forpackages to be received from suppliers for craft shop operations. All
incoming packages shall be subject to inspection. Offenders will be notified when unauthorized packages are returned.

3.9.6.2
All outgoing packages may not be sealed for mailing until inspected by a TDCJ-ID officer. Packages must be free of
contraband or material which constitutes a substantial danger to the security of the facility or which cannot be lawfully sent through the mail. Inspection of this mail shall be done in the presence of the offender; if cleared for mailing, the item shall be sealed and placed in the mail by the sender in the presence of the inspector. These rules shall not apply to outgoing packages to special, attorney and media
correspondents, which shall be governed by the rules relating to such correspondence.

3.9.6.3
Incoming packages will be delivered within forty-eight (48) hours of receipt, except on weekends or holidays when seventy-two(72) hours is allowed (if the holiday immediately precedes or follows the weekend). Outgoing packages will be delivered to a U.S. Postal Officer within forty-eight (48) hours, except on weekends or holidays when seventy-two (72) hours is allowed (if the holiday immediately precedes or follows the weekend).

3.9.7 Indigent Postage

3.9.7.1
Postage and stationery for mail from indigent offenders
(defined as those offenders with less than $5.00 in the Offender Trust Fund Account) may be secured through the mailroom or the Warden's representative. Postage and stationery will be furnished to an indigent offender for correspondence to any special correspondent listed in Rule
3.9.2.1 and to any attorney or legal aid society In addition, with such postage, the offender may send five (5) one-ounce domestic letters, to other persons, or use postage equivalent, thereto, per week; upon request to the Warden's representative or the mailroom and for good cause shown, an offender may send extra letters to other persons with such postage. All letters sent under this action shall be subject only to the restrictions on correspondence outlined in these rules.
Postage and stationery must be made available to indigent offenders, including those in administrative or punitive segregation, at regular intervals, at least three (3) times per week.

3.9.7.2
Funds expended by the TDCJ-ID for postage and stationery within the first sixty (60) days that an offender is indigent
may be recouped by the TDCJ-ID from funds later deposited in the offender's Trust Fund Account.

3.9.8 C.O.D. Mail

No C.O.D. mail shall be accepted for any offender and no offender shall be authorized to send C.O.D. Unauthorized items arriving by mail shall be returned to the sender at the expense of the offender addressed if ordered by said offender, unless the offender is without funds, in which case the mail shall be returned at the sender's expense. Offenders will be notified when C.O.D. mail is returned to the sender.

3.9.9 Record of Special, Legal and Media Correspondence

The mail officer shall keep a record showing the source and destination of all special, legal and media correspondence sent and received by an offender.

3.9.10 Publications

3.9.10.1
An offender may receive publications in the mail only from the publisher or publication supplier, including bookstores.

3.9.10.2
Offenders ordering publications must forward their payments for subscription to individual publications with their orders;
offenders shall not receive publications of any kind on a trial basis with payment postponed.

3.9.10.3
Persons desiring to give publications directly to individual offenders may have them mailed directly to the offender only
from the publisher or publications supplier, including bookstores.

3.9.10.4
All publications intended for offenders shall be inspected by a member of the unit staff before delivery to the offender.

3.9.10.5
Publications received by offenders may be in languages other than the English language.

3.9.10.6
A publication may be rejected only if:
(a) it contains contraband;

(b) it contains information regarding the manufacture of explosives, weapons or drugs;

(c) it contains material that a reasonable person would construe as written solely for the purpose of communicating information designed to achieve the breakdown of prisons through offender disruption such as strikes or riots;

(d) a specific factual determination has been made that the publication is detrimental to prisoner's rehabilitation because it would encourage deviate criminal sexual behavior;

(e) it contains material on the setting up and operation of criminal schemes or how to avoid detection of criminal schemes by lawful authorities charged with the responsibility for detecting such illegal activity.

Publications shall not be rejected solely because they advocate the legitimate use of prison grievance procedures or urge prisoners to contact public representatives about prison conditions or because they contain criticism of prison authorities. Publications shall not be excluded solely because they have sexual content. Publications that contain graphic depiction of homosexuality, sado-masochism, bestiality, incest or sex with children will ordinarily be denied. Publications that are primarily covering the activities of any sexual or politicalrights groups or organizations will normally be admitted.

If a publication is rejected, the offender, the editor and/or the
publisher will be provided a written notice of the disapproval and a statement of the reason therefore within seventy-two (72) hours of receipt of said publication on Publication Denial Form. Within the same time period, the offender, the editor and/or the publisher shall be notified of the right to and the procedure for appeal. The offender will either be allowed to review the publication at the time of notification or will be given a sufficiently detailed description of the rejected publication to permit effective utilization of the appeal
procedures. Whereupon the offender, the editor or the publisher may appeal the rejection of the publication through the Correspondence Review procedure outlined in Rule 3.9.14.

3.9.10.7
A list of publications disapproval for receipt by offenders during the last two months shall be conspicuously posted in
each day room and in any other appropriate places. the list shall be updated every month.

3.9.11 Rejected Correspondence or Publications

3.9.11.1
Any incoming or outgoing correspondence or publications that are rejected shall not be destroyed but shall remain with the
mailroom officer subject to examination and review by those involved in the administration of grievance procedures outlined herein. Upon completion of the grievance procedures, if the correspondence or publication is denied, the offender may request that it continue to be held in the custody of the mailroom officer for use in any legal
proceeding contemplated by the offender, or that it be disposed of in one of the following manners:
(1) mail the publication or correspondence to any person at the offender's expense;

(2) return the publication or correspondence to the publisher or sender at the offender's expense; or

(3) destroy the publication or correspondence, only with the
offender's written permission.

3.9.11.2
When a publication contains material for which it can be
denied in accordance with Rule 3.9.10.6, and the denial is upheld through the appeal procedures, the Director's Review Committee will allow the offender(s) receiving the publication to receive the publication with the denied material clipped from the publication. Clipping is the removal of the entire page/pages from the publication (a page being one sheet of a publication containing printing on bothsides). The Director's Review Committee will only allow clipping of denied material if the denied material is contained on five (5) pages
or less. If the denied material exceeds five (5) pages, the whole publication will be denied. At the time notice of rejection is given to the offender, if the objectionable portion of the publication is five (5) pages or less, the offender shall be given the choice of receiving the publication with the objectionable portion removed after the appeal process to the Director's Review Committee or of not receiving the
publication. In no case shall approval for clipping of the publication constitute waiver of the right to appeal the rejection of the publication under Rule 3.9.10.6. A copy of the clipped pages will be retained by the Director's Review Committee.

3.9.12 Notarization

RULE DELETED 07/89

3.9.13 Forwarding of Mail

Mail received must be forwarded to an offender immediately in the event he has left the unit for any reason and a forwarding address is available. Newspapers will be forwarded by Truck Mail for seven (7) days and other subscriptions will be forwarded by Truck Mail for forty-five (45) days after an offender is transferred between TDCJ -IDinstitutions.

3.9.14 Correspondence Review Procedure

3.9.14.1
An offender, non-offender correspondent, or editor or
publisher of a publication may appeal the rejection of any
correspondence or publication or may appeal the action of the Bureau of Classification in prohibiting correspondence between an offender and any other person by sending to the Director's Review Committee written notice of such appeal within two weeks of receipt of notification of rejection.

3.9.14.2
Upon receipt of an appeal notification, the correspondence or publication in question shall be sent to the Director's Review Committee.

3.9.14.3
The Director's Review Committee shall render its decision within two (2) weeks after receiving the appeal, and will notify the parties involved of its decision in writing within forty-eight (48) hours.

3.9.14.4
The composition of the Review Committee shall be
determined by the Executive Director and may be changed from time to time at the discretion of the Director. In any case, the committee shall include at least five members and shall be reflective of the executive and unit administration., including the Assistant Director for Treatment, who will act as chairman, the Director of Classifications and at least one Unit Warden. In no case however shall a TDCJ-ID official who has participated in or who has line responsibility for a rejection or denial (in other words, was assigned to the unit at which the
rejection or denial occurred) sit on the committee considering that rejection or denial.

3.9.15 Confidentiality of Correspondence

The confidentiality of correspondence provided for in the rules shall not be abridged or circumvented by any other TDCJ-ID rules or practices. For example, offenders shall not be required to keep attorney correspondence in the writ room but shall be permitted to keep it in their cells.

3.9.16 Definition of Contraband

For the purpose of these correspondence rules, "contraband" shall be defined as only any physical item that presents a substantial danger to the safety or security of staff, offenders or institution, and shall not, therefore, include any written material disapproved for its content. Under no circumstances shall inspection for contraband be deemed to require the reading or scanning of correspondence.

3.9.17 Unit Practice

No unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Institutional Division shall have a rule or practice contrary to the foregoing correspondence rules.

3.9.18 Administrative Segregation

Correspondence rights and the right to receive packages and
publications will not be abridged as to offenders in administrative segregation; except in documented cases in which the accumulation of property by an offender in administrative segregation presents a serious threat to the
security of the institution, the right of such offender in
administrative segregation to receive packages and publications and to accumulate property may be temporarily limited.

3.9.19 Punitive Segregation

Correspondence rights to send and receive general, special, legal and media correspondence will not be abridged as to offenders in punitive segregation. Offenders in punitive segregation should be provided writing instruments, stationery and postage, either from their Offender Trust Fund Account or through the provisions of Rule 3.9.7 in order that their correspondence rights are not abridged.

3.9.20 Mailrooms

All unit mailrooms will remain open and mail service will continue on Saturdays so long as the U.S. Postal Service continues mail service on Saturdays.
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Old 05-01-2003, 01:51 AM
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Thank you Cheenna for posting this
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