Letter to the Editor: Cecil County, MD, should cancel jail letter ban plan

"Major correctional associations emphasize that letter writing and family communication are key to meeting correctional safety goals."

by Leah Sakala, March 17, 2015

Cecil Whig letter to the editor thumbnail
The Maryland Cecil Daily just published my letter to the editor about why county officials should immediately cancel plans to ban letters from home in the county detention center:

Social science research is clear that one of the best ways we can help people in jail succeed when they return home is by allowing them to preserve social ties to their families and communities. My Prison Policy Initiative report, Return to Sender: Postcard-only Policies in Jails, finds that jail letter bans sever these essential ties by outlawing the affordable and confidential family communication that takes place via letter.

Major correctional associations emphasize that letter writing and family communication are key to meeting correctional safety goals. The courts and top correctional officials alike have also agreed that letters are critical lifelines for people in jail. Every single state prison uses mail security procedures that allow family letter correspondence, and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s national standards explicitly prohibit letter bans in facilities that hold detainees.

For more on this issue, read the full letter and check out the Prison Policy Initiative resource page on protecting jail letter correspondence.



Tweet this page Follow @PrisonPolicy on Twitter Donate

Stay Informed

Get the latest updates by signing up for our newsletters:


And our specialty lists:







Events

  • Feb 21, 2019:
    Volunteer Attorney Stephen Raher will be presenting his paper “The Company Store and the Literally Captive Market: Consumer Law in Prisons and Jails” at the Consumer Law Conference at Berkeley Law School. The paper will be presented and discussed at 4:00pm.

Not near you?
Invite us to your city, college or organization.