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Arizona Visitation, Phones, Packages & Mail Discussions Topics / Information relating to the Arizona Department of Corrections and local & county Jail visitation, phone calls, mail, inmate care packages, etc.

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Old 04-03-2016, 12:00 PM
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Exclamation ADC Inmate Mail Policy (Incoming Mail)


1.1 Upon arrival at a new Department/private prison facility, staff shall provide each inmate with the correct mailing address. It shall be the responsibility of the inmate to notify correspondents of the correct mailing address.

1.2 Incoming Mail addressed to inmates shall have the inmate’s complete first and last name, the inmate’s name under which he/she is incarcerated (unless legally changed), the inmate’s correct ADC number, as well as the inmate's unit name and the appropriate Post Office (PO) Box.

1.3 Incoming Mail shall have a complete return address including the sender's name and the complete street address or PO Box. Mail without a complete return address shall be opened and read to inspect the contents to make a reasonable attempt to ascertain the identity of the sender. If the sender can be identified and the mail does not present any security concerns the mail may be delivered to the inmate. If the sender cannot be verified, the inmate shall receive a notice and the mail held for 90 calendar days before it is destroyed.

1.4 It is the inmate’s responsibility to notify correspondents of his/her mailing address, where local U.S. Postmaster practice permits, a U.S. Postal Service (USPS) change of address form shall be completed by the inmate and sent to the USPS. All Department/private prison facilities shall make these forms available. Incoming mail shall be forwarded as follows:

1.4.1 Mail that arrives without an inmate ADC number shall be stamped "Return to Sender,” and returned.

1.4.2 Mail that arrives for an inmate at an institution where the inmate is no longer housed shall be forwarded to the inmate's current institution.

1.4.3 When possible, First Class mail belonging to an inmate who is temporarily confined at a hospital or local county jail shall be forwarded. For county jails (i.e., Maricopa and Yuma) that accept only post cards, any other First Class mail will be returned to the sender. First Class mail in this situation will not be held until the inmate returns.

1.4.4 Mail belonging to an inmate who is no longer in physical custody of the Department shall be forwarded up to 90 calendar days after his/her release; provided a forwarding address is available. When no forwarding address is available, the mail shall be stamped "inmate is no longer in custody" and returned to the sender.

1.4.5 All mail received for inmates on escape status shall be forwarded to the Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU) for evaluation and processing.

1.5 Designated staff at each unit/complex is authorized to open, inspect and read incoming mail to prevent criminal activity and prevent inmates from receiving contraband or any other material that may be detrimental to the safe and orderly operation of the institution.
INMATE MAIL MARCH 4, 2016 914 - PAGE 4

1.5.1 Upon inspection, incoming mail shall be withheld from an inmate if it meets one or more of the following criteria: Poses a direct and immediate threat to the security, safety or order of the institution. Substantially hinders efforts to treat or rehabilitate the inmate; however, Legal Mail will not be withheld for this purpose. Threatens the intended recipient. Promotes, aids or abets criminal activity or violation of Department rules, including but not limited to rioting, extortion, escape, illegal drug use, conveyance of contraband, solicitation of funds, violence towards others, and promotes or encourages Security Threat Groups (STG) and/or Criminal Street Gangs. Has content written in code or that contains hidden messages.

1.5.2 Mail meeting one or more of the criteria in 1.5.1 through of this section shall be forwarded to CIU for review. CIU shall return the mail for delivery within 72 hours unless it is determined that an investigation is required, in which case the mail shall be held. If it is determined that the mail is not to be delivered, the inmate shall be notified unless notification would interfere with the investigation.

1.5.3 When an incoming envelope is stamped “Return to Sender” staff shall open and inspect it for contraband before returning it to the inmate.

1.5.4 Incoming legislative correspondence shall be opened in the presence of the inmate to whom it is addressed and may only be inspected to the extent necessary to establish the presence of contraband.

1.6 Inmates may only receive funds for deposit into inmates’ accounts, in accordance with Department Order #905, Inmate Banking/Money System. No other monetary instrument, shall be deposited into an inmate’s account unless authorized in Department Order #905, Inmate Banking/Money System.

1.6.1 The Business Office/designated staff shall process the monetary instruments that meet the Department requirements and return those that do not meet Department requirements at the Department’s expense.

1.6.2 The Business Office shall notify CIU of any received Internal Revenue Service (IRS) checks. CIU may notify the IRS if deemed appropriate.

1.6.3 Outgoing inmate/IRS correspondence shall contain a notation by staff on the envelope directing the correspondence to the Criminal Investigations Branch at the Service Center to which the correspondence is addressed.

1.7 Unauthorized property or material discovered in incoming mail shall be removed from incoming letters and held as contraband. An inmate Property/Contraband/Disposition, Form 909-6, and Notice to Sender of Rejection of Incoming Mail/Property, Form 909-3, shall be completed and sent to the inmate. Inmates have 90 calendar days to either have item(s) destroyed or returned to the sender. The Department shall not pay for the cost of notifying the sender of the inmate’s contraband arrangements or its mailing cost.
INMATE MAIL MARCH 4, 2016 914 - PAGE 5

1.7.1 The Department shall not pay for the cost of returning unauthorized property or material that includes, but is not limited to: Used or unused postage stamps. Stickers, labels, address labels or decorative stamps. Photos where the non-photo side can be separated (Polaroids). Photos of other inmates. Unknown foreign substances and/or powders. Oils, perfumes, incense or personal property items. Lottery tickets or games of chance. Tax forms and Publications, unless in accordance with Department Order #919, Inmate Resource Center/Library Services. Battery operated greeting cards, or greeting cards larger than 8 ½” by 11”. Unused Greeting cards, stationary, and/or envelopes. Unused postcards. Writing instruments; any type or kind. Bookmarks. Inspirational cards, medals or medallions. Candy, gum, or any food items. Art, crafts and hobby supplies. Content that depicts, encourages, or describes methods of escape and/or eluding capture. This includes materials that contain blueprints, drawings, descriptions or photos of Arizona prison facilities or private prison facilities, Public Transportation maps, road maps of Arizona or states contiguous to Arizona. (“Contiguous”, as used in this section, means states surrounding and bordering Arizona, i.e., California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Mexico, or any portion thereof.) Calendars. A printed individual item (not a supplement of an item such as a newspaper), specifically intended for the purpose of advertising or selling merchandise (catalog, circular) for any items that an inmate would not be permitted to receive.
INMATE MAIL MARCH 4, 2016 914 - PAGE 6 Catalogs for publications, compact discs, cassettes and other items inmates would be able to receive shall be processed according to the Publication Review requirements. Credit Reports. Personal or professional/commercial photographs that feature nudity or sexually explicit acts, as detailed in the DEFINITION section. Photos of current or former Department/private prison employees and/or Department volunteers, unless they are immediate family.

1.8 Newspaper clippings, magazine articles, cartoons or copies of material from the internet may be enclosed within personal mail; however, the content is subject to the Publication Review process. Internet material containing information about staff or other inmates is unauthorized if it is determined to be a threat to the safe and orderly operation of an institution and/or a threat to the safety of any other person. Inmates are not authorized to receive items from the ADC Net website.

1.9 Inmates may be permitted to view crime scene and/or autopsy photographs in accordance with Department Order #909 Inmate Property.

1.10 Incoming third class/bulk mail and publications will be delivered provided the mail/publication content meets policy guidelines and:

1.10.1 Is prepaid, as defined by this Department Order;

1.10.2 Is addressed to a specific inmate or inmates with the correct name, ADC number and housing location.

1.11 Undeliverable Standard Mail shall be returned to the Post Office, if the Post Office will accept it. If the Post Office does not accept the undeliverable mail, it shall be documented in the appropriate log and destroyed/shredded and bagged by staff and placed in a dumpster or other trash container.

1.12 Incoming telegrams or similar urgent mail, including but not limited to, overnight mail shall be delivered within 12 hours unless circumstances make delivery impractical.

1.13 Excluding holidays and weekends, incoming mail shall not be held and shall be delivered within 24 hours unless circumstances make delivery impractical.

1.14 All mail and publications with metal bindings other than staples, including paper clips, binder clips, and other metal fasteners are prohibited. An inmate that receives a metal binding piece of mail and/or publication shall be informed of its arrival and will either decide to have the publication processed as contraband or give his/her written permission to have the binding removed prior to its release to the inmate. Staff shall make note of the removal in the inmate’s property file.

1.14.1 Staples in all mail and publications are prohibited in the following types of housing units:
INMATE MAIL MARCH 4, 2016 914 - PAGE 7 Death Row. Administrative or Disciplinary Confinement. Close Custody. Maximum Custody. Mental Health Treatment Units (Baker and Flamenco).


1.1 All compact discs (CD’s) and/or cassettes received through the mail shall be new, clear or a cardboard container, in its original wrapper and packaging, and shall not be a re-recording of an original, and shall be consistent with copyright laws. Authorized mail order purchases for inmate in disciplinary detention may be held until inmate is released from detention.

1.2 Envelopes/packages containing incoming CD’s and/or cassettes shall have the inmate’s complete first and last name, the inmate’s name under which he/she is incarcerated unless legally changed, the correct ADC number, institution and unit, and the appropriate Post Office Box. Incoming approved compact discs and/or cassette tapes for inmates in disciplinary detention may be held until the inmate is released from detention.

1.3 Incoming CD’s and/or cassettes must come directly from a recognized publisher, distributor or authorized retailer. No individuals shall be authorized to send CD’s and/or cassettes directly to an inmate even if they include a verifiable packing list or invoice. Secondary markets also known as Third Party Vendors (i.e., Amazon.com, Amazon Marketplace, Barnes and Noble, e-Bay, and Craig’s List), or any other auction sites are not authorized retailers or distributors for the purpose of this Department Order. These sources are offered as examples only and do not represent a definitive list of secondary markets.

1.3.1 The Department may deem a vendor as Third Party Vendor at its discretion.

1.3.2 Mail room staff confirm the sender is not a Third Party Vendor prior to opening CDs and/or cassettes.

1.4 Cassette tapes and/or CD’s commonly referred to as “Books on Tape” are subject to the Publication Review requirements, as outlined in section 914.09 of this Department Order and shall be included in the total possession limit amount for cassette tapes/discs as outlined in Attachment A of Department Order #909, Inmate Property.

1.5 Inmates may receive correspondence tapes with prior written approval of the unit Deputy Warden. Inmates shall only receive correspondence tapes from an individual on his/her approved visitation list.

1.5.1 The requesting individual shall submit a written justification to the unit Deputy Warden requesting approval for correspondence tapes indicating that the inmate or visitor has a disability or literacy concern that prevents written correspondence.
INMATE MAIL MARCH 4, 2016 914 - PAGE 8

1.5.2 The inmate shall show in advance that he/she is in possession of an operational and authorized appliance with a cassette player.

1.5.3 Correspondence tapes shall not contain sexually explicit language or any other unauthorized content that would be in violation of this Department Order.

1.5.4 Correspondence tapes shall be screened at the Complex/Unit Level only and shall not be forwarded to Central Office Publication Review.

1.6 Religious oriented tapes and/or CD’s sent through the mail to a specific inmate shall be commercially recorded. Tapes/CD’s of religious services being donated by volunteers or outside groups for services or inmate listening shall be pre-screened by the Senior Chaplain to ensure that they are consistent with the guidelines within this Department Order. Volunteers are not authorized to directly provide inmates with recorded material.

1.7 Cash on delivery (COD) orders and contract purchases such as music clubs are prohibited and shall be returned to sender. The Department shall not be responsible for the cost of returning any unauthorized material.

Last edited by sass4221; 06-13-2019 at 04:19 PM.. Reason: edited link
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