|State||Agency(ies) Setting Standards for Jails||Binding Authority?||Notes on Authority||Link to Agency(ies)||Mail Policy Language||Link to Policy||Letter Bans Issued in Jail(s) in State?|
|Alabama||Alabama Board of Corrections||Undetermined||There does not appear to be an agency outside the state department of corrections that sets standards for jails.||http://www.doc.state.al.us||There is no limit on the volume of letters that the inmate can send or receive.||http://www.doc.state.al.us/docs/AdminRegs/AR448.pdf||No|
|Alaska||Alaska Department of Corrections||Undetermined||There does not appear to be an a statewide body with mandatory inspection duties over local jails. The D.O.C. only operates state prisons.||There does not appear to be an a statewide body with mandatory inspection duties outside the state department of corrections with oversight over local jails.||A prisoner may send or receive any amount of first, second, or third class mail, except that limitations may be placed on the mail to conduct or operate a business. Prisoners do not need the Superintendent's approval to receive or send mail to a particular individual||http://www.correct.state.ak.us/commissioner/policies-procedures||No|
|Arizona||Arizona Department of Corrections |
Arizona Sheriffs' Association
|Advisory||From the association's website: |
The Arizona Jail Standards provide non-binding minimum guidelines, voluntarily adopted by the Arizona Sheriff's Association as a means of: Improving the operation, and management of Arizona Jails; and Reinforcing and enhancing staff professionalism. The Arizona Jail Standards have been written based on constitutional and statutory requirements. The standards are not, however, intended to establish legal authority. Each Sheriff's Office should involve its County Attorney to review policy, procedures, and practice."
"There is no limitation put on the amount of mail an inmate may receive regardless of custody or detention status, provided the incoming mail meets requirements, does not violate policy, and the mail is not between an inmate and any of the following ..."
|D.O.C. policies: |
Sheriffs' Association policies:
|Arkansas||The Criminal Detention Facilities Review Committees (within the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration)||Binding||From the committee's website: |
The Criminal Detention Facilities Review Committees are charged by law with the duties of annually inspecting jails that house city and county prisoners to ensure that the facilities comply with State mandated minimum standards. The Coordinator's Office is responsible for assisting the Review Committees and for ensuring that they perform their legal mandate of interpreting and administering the Standards uniformly.""
|SECTION 10-1007 INSPECTION GUIDELINES |
"Letters or packages to or from inmates shall be opened and inspected for contraband but may not be censored. Letters may be read if there is reasonable suspicion that there is a threat to order and security, or that the letter or package is being used to further illegal activity."
|California||Board of State and Community Corrections||Binding||Board of State and Community Corrections||http://www.bscc.ca.gov||Board of State and Community Corrections (Jails) |
"The facility administrator shall develop written policies and procedures for inmate correspondence which provide that there is no limitation on the volume of mail that an inmate may send or receive"
|Colorado||Colorado Department of Corrections||Undetermined||There does not appear to be an agency outside the state department of corrections with oversight over local jails.||http://www.colorado.gov.cdoc||When the offender bears the mailing cost, there is no limit on the volume of letters the offender can send or receive or on the length, language, content, or source of mail or publications ... Mail may be rejected when there is reasonable belief that limitation is necessary to protect public safety or institutional order and security.||Yes|
|Connecticut||Connecticut Department of Corrections||Undetermined||There does not appear to be an agency outside the state department of corrections with oversight over local jails.||http://www.ct.gov/doc/site/default.asp||Frequency. There shall be no limit placed on the number of letters an inmate may write or receive at personal expense, except as a disciplinary penalty ... |
"An indigent inmate, as defined in Administrative Directive 6.10, Inmate Property, shall be permitted the following items free of charge:
1. two (2) social letters per week; ...
4. writing paper"
|Delaware||Delaware Department of Corrections |
Delaware Council on Correction
|Undetermined||Michele Deitch's article identifies the Delaware Council on Correction as a "Statewide Body with Discretionary Monitoring Authority," but we could not locate a list of standards or best practices they use. Instead, we pulled the mail policy from the Delaware Department of Corrections.||http://www.doc.delaware.gov||Mail Supplies: Postage-paid envelopes, post-paid postcards, stationery, and stamps ... Offenders must purchase their own mail supplies. All institutions shall stock mail supplies for purchase by offenders. Mail supplies shall be available for purchase through the commissay or supplied by the institution.||No|
|District of Columbia||District of Columbia Department of Corrections||Undetermined||There does not appear to be an agency outside the state department of corrections with oversight over local jails.||http://doc.dc.gov||8: "d) An inmate at his/her own expense may send and receive an unlimited number of letters. There will be no limit on the volume of letters he/she can receive or on the source of mail or publications, except when there is reasonable belief that limitation is necessary to protect public safety or maintain facility order, safety and security." |
"f) Inmates may receive plain writing paper and no more than a book of stamps or a sheet of twenty (20) stamps through the mail. The writing paper must fit in a 9”x12” envelope."
"g) DOC shall accept ten (10) standard envelopes per week mailed to inmates for use in future correspondence."
|Florida||Florida Model Jail Standards Committee |
Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission (FCAC)
|Binding||The Florida Model Jail Standards are mandatory for local jails. Local jails can choose whether to become accredited. |
Florida Model Jail Standards Committee:
The Florida Model Jail Standards are minimum standards which jails across Florida must meet to ensure the constitutional rights of those incarcerated are upheld. Prior to 1996, the Florida Department of Corrections was responsible for the standards and inspection process for local county jails. Legislation was passed in 1996 that gave the authority of inspections to the local level. This change required the Florida Sheriffs Association and Florida Association of Counties to appoint individuals to serve on a Committee that would govern standards that local jails must comply with.
Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission:
Since its inception in 1998, FCAC has established itself as Florida's jail accreditation program with 33 Florida jails having achieved and maintained accredited status by the Commission. Accreditation standards are based primarily on the Florida Model Jail Standards (FMJS) and Florida Statutes. In order to make this the most comprehensive and beneficial program available, additional standards were adopted to address personnel, fiscal, and other areas not covered by FMJS. All standards are compatible with Florida law and are designed to address the unique needs of the Florida Correctional community."
|Florida Model Jail Standards: |
Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission:
|Florida Model Jail Standards: |
"There shall be no approved lists of correspondents or limits on the volume of mail an inmate may receive or send."
Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission Standards:
"12.08: A written directive specifies the facility will not limit the volume of incoming or outgoing mail and will not maintain lists of correspondents."
|Georgia||Georgia Board of Corrections |
Georgia Jail Association
|Undetermined||GA Board of Corrections: |
The Board of Corrections is composed of 18 members, one from each congressional district in the state and four members from the state at large. The Governor appoints all members, subject to the consent of the state Senate, to staggered five-year terms. The Board develops rules governing the conduct and welfare of employees under its authority and the assignment, housing, feeding, clothing, treatment, discipline, rehabilitation, training, and hospitalization of all offenders coming under its custody. The members serve on the following committees: Budget, Correctional Industries, Education/Programs, Facilities and Probation, Food and Farm, Health Services, Nominations, Operations, Utilities and Recidivism. The Board of Corrections is a policy-making statutory board and has legal status only as a board.
The GA Jail Association:
The Georgia Jail Association is a membership and networking group for jail staff and does not appear to have any kind of authority over local jails:
The Georgia Jail Association is an organization comprised of professionals from all levels of operations and related government agencies. The members share the common goal of improving all Georgia jails, regardless of size of location...The purposes of GJA are to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, information and techniques of ideas, information and techniques; to advance professionalism through training, technical assistance, publications and conferences; to develop statewide leadership of the advancement of progressive jail standards, legislation, practices, programs and services."
|Hawaii||Hawaii Department of Public Safety, Division of Corrections||Undetermined||There does not appear to be an agency outside the state D.O.C. with oversight over local jails.||http://dps.hawaii.gov||Correspondence shall be subject only to the limitations necessary to maintain order and security or the correctional institution. |
"4.0 There shall be no limit on the volume of letters an inmate may send or receive, except when there is a reasonable belief that a limitation is necessary to protect public safety or institutional order and security."
"4.12 An inmate who has less than the cost of writing paper in his spending account shall be provided with writing paper with which to conduct personal correspondence."
|Idaho||Idaho Sheriffs' Association||Binding||The Idaho Sheriffs' Association developed a list of minimum jail standards (some of which are mandatory and others recommended) and also conducts inspections of jails. Jails can voluntarily choose to undergo inspection. |
In addition to the sheriffs' meetings, jail administrators meet at the same time and ISA facilitates the meetings. The ISA Jail Inspector works with jail administrators to develop and maintain Idaho Jail Standards. As a result of the jail standards initially developed in 1976 an inspection process was created that continues to this day. County commissioners have relied heavily on the results of the jail inspections, and the Idaho courts, ACLU and other legal authorities have responded to the standards and inspection process when evaluating the constitutional operations of Idaho jails."
|(RECOMMENDED) "14.02 The facility has written policy regarding the length, source, or volume of mail an inmate may send or receive is not limited, except where there is clear and convincing evidence to justify the limitation for reasons of public safety, facility order, or security." (Revised 12/09)||No|
|Illinois||Illinois Department of Corrections Jail and Detention Standards Unit |
John Howard Association"
|Binding||Jail and Detention Standards Unit: |
The mission of the Jail and Detention Standards Unit of the IL D.O.C. is to monitor compliance with Illinois County Jail Standards, Illinois Municipal Jail and Lockup Standards, and Federal Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act.
The purpose of monitoring is to develop standardized practices in detention facilities that enhance the health and safety of the general public, detention staff, and detainees. In addition, the office provides assistance and services to facilitate the development of those practices.
State statute established the unit and directs that the office may inspect all county jails on an annual basis. Municipal lockups are inspected upon request of the chief of police. Jail and Detention Standards has the authority to refer facilities in serious noncompliance to the Illinois Attorney General for remediation. This authority has closed substandard facilities and stimulated new facility construction throughout Illinois.
John Howard Association:
The John Howard Association's Prison Monitoring Project conducts regular monitoring tours of the Department of Corrections' adult facilities. Most tours include four to six trained volunteers led by JHA staff. The observations of the volunteers are included in written reports prepared by JHA. Those reports focus on such critical matters as education, medical and mental health care, disciplinary procedures for youth and inmates, and the physical condition of facilities. The reports are then circulated to adult correctional and juvenile justice officials, legislators, other individuals in positions of authority and the public at large.
|COUNTY JAIL STANDARDS: "Each detainee shall be permitted to send, at personal expense, an unlimited number of letters each week."||No|
|Indiana||Indiana Department of Corrections||Binding||There does not appear to be an agency outside the state department of corrections that sets standards for jails.||http://www.in.gov/idoc/||An offender may send and receive, in any language, an unlimited amount of correspondence to or from any person, consistent with the guidelines presented in these procedures. However, such correspondence shall not be written in code or include symbols which may disrupt the operation of the facility.||No|
|Iowa||Iowa Department of Corrections||Undetermined||There does not appear to be an agency outside the state department of corrections that sets standards for jails.||http://www.doc.state.ia.us||201-20.4(904) Mail. Constructive, unlimited correspondence with family, friends, and community sources will be encouraged and facilitated. Offenders have the responsibility in the use of correspondence to be truthful and honest. Institutions have the responsibility to maintain a safe, secure, and orderly procedure for offender use of the mail. Mail is additionally governed by the provisions of department of corrections policy OP-MTV-01. |
"j. No limit will be placed on the number of letters mailed for offenders able to pay the mailing costs. Offenders that are unable to pay mailing costs will receive limited assistance which may be recoverable.
k. Stamped, return-addressed envelopes will be sold through canteen services for all outgoing letters and will be purchased by the offender."
|Kansas||Kansas Department of Corrections||Undetermined||http://www.dc.state.ks.us||Any outgoing first-class letters may be sent to as many people and to whomever the inmate chooses, subject to the restrictions in this regulation. |
"Indigent inmates, as defined by the internal management policies and procedures of the department of corrections, shall receive reasonable amounts of free
writing paper, envelopes, and postage for first-class domestic mail weighing one ounce or less, not to exceed four letters per month."
|Kentucky||Kentucky Department of Corrections, Division of Local Facilities Jail Services Branch||Undetermined||The Division of Local Facilities is charged with overseeing community-based residential programs for inmates and enforcement of minimum jail standards.||http://corrections.ky.gov/depts/Local%20Facilities/Pages/default.aspx||An inmate who is indigent shall receive, upon request, postage and stationary sufficient to send at least two letters, weighing one ounce or less, per week in order to maintain community ties.||Yes|
|Louisiana||Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice||Undetermined||Commission has statutory (R.S. §1204) authority to develop minimum standards for state correctional facilities, but it is not clear whether it has authority over local and county jails.||http://www.cole.state.la.us||None||No|
|Maine||Maine Department of Corrections||Binding||According to the Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast (http://www.rjpmidcoast.org/cms/overview-maines-correctional-system), the Maine Department of Corrections is responsible for enforcing minimum standards on both state prisons and local jails.||http://www.maine.gov/corrections/index.shtml||It is important that there be constructive correspondence between prisoners and their families and others as a means to maintain ties with the community. Each facility shall provide prisoners with the means to engage in such correspondence. |
"27. There shall be no limit on the amount of incoming mail a prisoner is allowed, provided the mail is stored as outlined in Policy 10.1, Prisoner Allowable Property.
28. There shall be no limit on the amount of outgoing mail a prisoner is allowed to send, provided the prisoner has sufficient funds to pay for postage."
|Maryland||Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services Commission on Correctional Standards||Advisory||From the Commission's website: |
The Maryland Commission on Correctional Standards was established by the General Assembly to advise the Secretary regarding standards for state, local and privately-operated correctional facilities. The Commission staff audits correctional facilities and private home detention monitoring agencies to determine levels of compliance, develop audit reports and provide technical assistance to correct areas of noncompliance."
|http://www.dpscs.state.md.us/agencies/mccs.shtml||There must be no limitation on the number of letters permitted in a specified time period, the length of the correspondence, the content of the correspondence, nor the source of the letter except where the limitations are justified for reason of public safety or facility order or security ... All indigent inmates, by whatever official definition, must be afforded a reasonable and specified amount of free postage for legal mail and correspondence necessary to maintain community ties.||No|
|Massachusetts||Massachusetts Department of Corrections, Policy Development and Compliance Unit||Undetermined||481.09 Amount of Mail |
"Except as provided in 481.10 where an inmate requests free postage, there shall be no limitation placed on the number of persons with whom an inmate may correspond, nor shall there be any limitation on the number of letters an inmate may send or receive."
|Michigan||Michigan Department of Corrections||Undetermined||http://www.michigan.gov/corrections/||There is no limit on the amount of outgoing mail a prisoner may send, except that prisoners in a CFA facility are allowed to purchase and possess metered envelopes only in the quantities set forth in PD 04.07.112 Prisoner Personal Property" and OP CFA 04.02.130 "Purchase of Metered Envelopes" ... General population prisoners, including prisoners in Field Operations Administration (FOA) facilities, and prisoners in protective segregation shall be permitted to send sealed mail ... "||Yes|
|Minnesota||Minnesota Department of Corrections||Undetermined||Minnesota law requires the Commissioner of Corrections to develop minimum standards for correctional facilities: |
|http://www.doc.state.mn.us||All outgoing offender mail must be submitted in a canteen-purchased or indigent envelope and is subject to inspection ... Outgoing mail may include paper with words/drawings on it, signed greeting cards, clippings and photocopies from publications, and photographs. An offender may not use facility-provided forms or documents as stationary.||http://www.doc.state.mn.us/DOcpolicy2/html/dpw_main.asp?opt=IE||No|
|Mississippi||Mississippi Department of Corrections||Undetermined||http://www.mdoc.state.ms.us||Note: The Mississippi Department of Corrections requires one to submit a request in writing in order to access its minimum jail standards.||No|
|Missouri||Missouri Department of Corrections||Undetermined||http://doc.mo.gov||Note: According to the article linked below, Missouri is planning to develop minimum jail standards to apply statewide: ||Yes|
|Montana||Montana Department of Corrections||Undetermined||http://www.cor.mt.gov/default.mcpx||None||https://cor.mt.gov/Portals/104/Resources/Policy/Chapter3/3-3-6.pdf||No|
|Nebraska||Department of Correctional Services |
Nebraska Jail Standards Board (within the Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice)
|Binding||From the Board's website: |
The Nebraska Jail Standards Board was created in 1978 with statutory authority to develop and implement minimum standards for adult jails and temporary holding facilities throughout Nebraska. The Board was placed with the Crime Commission in August of 1981 with the passage of Legislative Bill (LB) 328. With the enactment of the Juvenile Detention Facility Standards in August of 1993, the Board's purview was expanded to include juvenile detention facilities."
|Department of Correctional Services: |
Nebraska Jail Standards Board:
|Dept of Correctional Services: |
"There shall be no restrictions on the number of letters, length, language, content or source of mail or publications, except when there is a reasonable belief that the limitation is necessary to protect public safety or institutional order and security."
Nebraska Jail Standards Board:
"Facility employees shall not limit the volume
of mail to or from an inmate."
"Indigent inmates shall receive sufficient
materials and postage for a reasonable amount of
correspondence to maintain family and community ties, and for legal or other confidential correspondence."
|Nevada||Nevada Department of Corrections||Undetermined||http://doc.nv.gov||750.01(f) "There are no limits placed on the number of letters an inmate may send or receive, unless a specific restriction is authorized by this regulation." |
Note: Includes further language about envelopes.
|New Hampshire||New Hampshire Department of Corrections||Undetermined||http://www.nh.gov/nhdoc/index.html||1. When the cost is borne by the inmate, there is no limit on the volume of letters an inmate may send or receive, including restrictions to language, content or source of mail or publications, except when there is a reasonable belief that the limitation is necessary to protect public safety or institutional order and security. The volume of mailed material that may be kept in the housing units may be limited for fire and safety reasons. |
2. Incoming inmate mail will be limited to 10 pages in length per letter.
|New Jersey||New Jersey Department of Corrections||Undetermined||As required by state statutes, the Office of County Services conducts annual inspections of the 22 county correctional facilities and 376 municipal detention facilities located throughout the state. The office also reviews and approves documents for the construction, renovation or alteration of those facilities to ensure compliance with New Jersey Administrative Code (NJAC) requirements.||http://www.state.nj.us/corrections/pages/index.shtml||NJ Administrative Code: |
"§ 10A:31-19.1 Limitation on outgoing and incoming mail
(a) There shall be no limit on the amount of outgoing or incoming correspondence an inmate may send or receive.
(b) There shall be no restriction on the length, language or content of letters or on the persons to whom an inmate may write, except as established in this subchapter."
|New Mexico||New Mexico Department of Corrections||Undetermined||http://www.corrections.state.nm.us||NMSA 1978, Section 33-1-6, as amended; Policy CD-010100 |
"The NMCD encourages correspondence on a wholesome and constructive level between inmates and members of their families, as well as friends or associates, with no restrictions except those necessary to ensure the safety and security of the facilities and other persons. [4-4487]
A. Indigent inmates shall receive a specified postage allowance to maintain community ties. [4-4489]"
"When the inmate bears the mailing cost, there is no limit on the volume of letters the inmate can send or receive or on the length, language, content, or source of mail or publications except when reasonable belief that limitation is necessary ..."
|New York||New York Commission on Corrections |
Correctional Association of New York
|Advisory||The Correctional Association of New York (also identified by the 50 State Survey) is an independent advocacy organization that has legislative authority to conduct inspections of jails, but the standards it uses to assess jails are undetermined. ("In 1846, the CA was granted authority by New York State Legislature to inspect prisons and to report its findings and recommendations to the public. The only private organization in New York with unrestricted access to prisons, the CA has remained steadfast in its commitment to inform the public debate on criminal justice for nearly 170 years. The CA utilizes its unique legislative mandate to expose abusive practices, educate the public and policymakers about what goes on behind prison walls, and advocate for systemic, lasting and progressive change.")||NY Commission on Corrections: |
Correctional Association of NY:
|7 CRR-NY 720.3 |
"(2) A limit of five pages of printed or photocopied materials (an individual newspaper clipping will be considered one page) may be received within a piece of regular correspondence (except as provided in paragraphs [3 & 4] of this subdivision). In order to facilitate media review, pages or clippings must not be taped, glued, or pasted together or to other papers.
7 CRR-NY 720.2
The sending and receiving of mail by inmates will be restricted only to the extent necessary to prevent a threat to the safety, security and good order of the facility or the safety or well-being of any person, and to prevent unsolicited and unwanted mail."
|North Carolina||North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health Service Regulation, Jail and Detention Section (for Jails) |
North Carolina Department of Public Safety (for state prisons)
|Binding||http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dhsr/jail/index.html||Division of Health Services Regulation, Jail and Detention Section: |
Department of Public Safety:
|Department of Public Safety: |
"(2) Indigent Inmates - Postage for personal mail from indigent inmates shall be limited to the cost of 10 first-class one ounce letters per month per indigent inmate. Postage for personal mail from inmates without funds will be paid using the Inmate Welfare Fund provided the inmate meets the requirements of being indigent as outlined in DPS Fiscal Policy .1100. (4489) There is no limit on the volume of letters an indigent inmate may receive.
(3) Non-Indigent Inmates - There is no limit on the volume of letters non-indigent inmates can receive or send when he/she bears the cost of mailing.
.0309 CONTENT AND STRUCTURE OF INCOMING AND OUTGOING MAIL
(a) There is no limit on the length, language, content, or source of mail for any inmate except when there is reasonable belief that limitation is necessary to protect public safety or institutional order and security."
|North Dakota||North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Training and County Facilities||Undetermined||http://www.nd.gov/docr/||Rule 82 Each facility must have a written policy and procedure to govern incoming and outgoing mail. Privileged correspondence means correspondence to: licensed attorneys, judges and clerks of federal, state and local courts; elected and appointed officials of the federal government or any state; and members of the parole board or pardon advisory board. |
Outgoing privileged correspondence may not be opened, inspected, or censored. Outgoing privileged correspondence initiated by an indigent inmate and which contains legal documents must be mailed without charge to the inmate. This extends only to first-class postage for legal mail and does not include registered, certified, or insured mail. Indigent inmates must also be provided free envelopes and writing materials for the mailing and drafting of legal documents. Indigent inmates must be provided a reasonable amount of stamps, envelopes and writing materials for other privileged correspondence.
|Ohio||Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction |
Ohio Correctional Institution Inspection Committee
|Binding||The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction oversees jails, while the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee conducts inspections of state prisons.||Dept of Rehabilitation and Correction: |
Correctional Institution Inspection Committee:
|From Dept of Rehabilitation and Correction: |
(A) There shall be no limitation on the amount of incoming or outgoing mail or
correspondence when the prisoner is responsible for the costs of postage.
(F) Indigent prisoners shall receive writing materials, envelopes and postage for two letters per week."
"5120:1-8-06 Minimum Standards for Full Service Jails
(B) There shall be no limitation on the amount of incoming or outgoing first-class correspondence.
(E) Each jail shall provide the necessary writing materials, envelopes, and postage for a minimum of two letters per week for indigent prisoners."
"5120:1-9-06 Minimum Standards for Minimum Security Jails
(B) There shall be no limitation on the amount of incoming or outgoing first-class correspondence.
(E) Each jail shall provide the necessary writing materials, envelopes, and postage for a minimum of two letters per week for indigent prisoners."
"5120-9-17 Incoming mail.
(A) Mail in the form of first class letters or electronic mail addressed to an inmate shall not be withheld except as provided in this rule. There shall be no limitation on the number of first class letters that an inmate may receive nor the number of persons with whom an inmate may correspond."
"5120-9-18 Outgoing mail.
(A) There shall be no limitation on the number of letters that an inmate may send, nor shall there be any restrictions as to persons with whom an inmate may correspond, except as provided in this rule.
When the inmate bears the mailing cost, there is no limit on the volume of letters the inmate can send or receive or on the length, language, content, or source of mail or publications except when there is reasonable belief that limitation is necessary to protect public safety or institutional order and security."
|Oklahoma||Oklahoma Department of Health, Jail Inspection Division||Binding||The laws of the State of Oklahoma required the Oklahoma State Department of Health to develop standards for jail operation and monitor jail compliance with those standards. Based on Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes at Section 192, the Department is required to inspect all city and county jails at least once each year to ensure they follow the standards.||There shall be no limitations on the volume of mail a prisoner may send or receive as long as the prisoner provides postage. The facility shall provide postage, one (1) time perweek, for prisoners who do not have funds for correspondence with their attorney, court officials, elected officials, and next of kin.||http://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/Jail%20Standards.pdf||No|
|Oregon||Oregon Department of Corrections - Community Corrections||Binding||http://www.oregon.gov/doc/Pages/index.aspx||None||Yes|
|Pennsylvania||Pennsylvania Dept of Corrections, Office of County Inspections and Services (OCIS)||Advisory||The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Office of County Inspections and Services is responsible for conducting inspections of jail facilities but it has no enforcement authority. Some counties have their own corrections departments, which develop their own jail standards. |
The article below describes in more detail the jail oversight structure in Pennsylvania:
|PA Dept of Corrections: "5. Each inmate will be permitted, without cost, to mail eight one-ounce, first-class letters per month. |
6. There will be no limit on the number of letters that an inmate may send at his/her own expense. Envelopes are available for purchase through Commissary. If an inmate has purchased envelopes prior to a transfer to another facility, the inmate shall be allowed a one-for-one exchange of envelopes upon arrival at the new facility."
|Rhode Island||Rhode Island Department of Corrections||Undetermined||http://www.doc.ri.gov/index.php||Inmates will be permitted uninterrupted correspondence and/or publications (e.g., letters, memos, greeting cards, books, magazines, etc.) as long as the correspondence/publications pose no threat to the safety and security of the facility, public officials, or the general public, do not hinder rehabilitation of an inmate, are not being used to further illegal activities, and meet all other specifications contained within this policy. |
When the inmate bears the mailing cost, there is no limit on the volume of letters the inmate can send or receive or on the length, language, content, or source of mail, or publications except when there is reasonable belief that limitation is necessary to protect public safety or institutional order and security, assist the rehabilitation of an inmate, and/or prevent the furthering of illegal activities.
|South Carolina||Department of Corrections, Division of Inspections and Operational Review |
South Carolina Association of Counties
|Binding||The South Carolina Association of Counties sets minimum standards for jails used by the Inspections and Operational Review Division of the Department of Corrections.||http://www.sccounties.org||2032 |
"(c) The facility shall not limit mail to or from an inmate except when there is clear and convincing evidence to justify such limitation.
(d) If an inmate is indigent, he/she shall be provided sufficient postage, envelopes, and writing materials to write two (2) personal letters per week if he/she wishes to do so. Like provisions apply should an indigent inmate wish to communicate with his/her lawyer(s) and court officials."
|South Dakota||South Dakota Department of Corrections||Undetermined||http://doc.sd.gov||5. There is no limit on the amount of correspondence an adult offender may send out provided he/she pays the postage.||http://doc.sd.gov/about/policies/documents/Offender%20Correspondence.pdf||No|
|Tennessee||Tennessee Corrections Institute||Binding||Under the authority of T.C.A. 41-4-140, the Tennessee Corrections Institute is required to establish minimum standards for local jails, lock-ups, workhouses and detention facilities in the state and conduct an annual inspection of each facility.||https://tn.gov/commerce/section/corrections-institute||Each jail shall develop written policy governing the censoring of mail. Any regulation for censorship must meet the following criteria: |
(a) The regulation must further an important and substantial governmental interest unrelated to the suppression of expression (e.g., detecting escape plans which constitute a threat to facility security and/or the well being of staff and/or prisoners); and
(b) The limitation must be no greater than is necessary to the protection of the particular governmental interest involved.
|Texas||Texas Commission on Jail Standards||Binding||From the Commission's website: |
The Texas Legislature created the Commission on Jail Standards in 1975 to implement a declared state policy that all county jail facilities conform to minimum standards of construction, maintenance and operation. In 1983, the Texas Legislature expanded the jurisdiction of the commission to include county and municipal jails operated under vendor contract."
|http://www.tcjs.state.tx.us||Inmates shall be permitted to send as many letters of as many pages as they desire, to whomever they desire... [and] may receive correspondence in any quantity, amount, and number of pages.||No|
|Utah||Utah Sheriffs' Association||Advisory||Utah Sheriffs' Association developed jail standards backed up by annual inspections by the Association. Compliance with the standards is voluntary, however, and the Association has no sanctioning or certification authority.||http://www.utahsheriffs.org||None||Yes|
|Vermont||Vermont Department of Corrections||Undetermined||http://corrections.vermont.gov||#409.05 |
It is the policy of the Vermont Department of Corrections to permit inmates to correspond with family, friends, officials, and other significant community contacts; to receive publications; and to view audio/visual materials, consistent with the security needs and institutional order of a correctional facility.
a. No restrictions will be placed on an inmate’s mail for disciplinary reasons unless the inmate
specifically abuses the use of mail, in which case restrictions are imposed through due
b. There will be no limitation on the number of letters an inmate may send when they bear the
cost of such mailings, except where prohibited.
e. There will be no limit on the amount of incoming mail an inmate is allowed, provided that the mail does not exceed the allowable property limits as established by the applicable Department directive on property (#321.01.)
|Virginia||Virginia Department of Corrections, Compliance and Accreditation Unit||Undetermined||http://vadoc.virginia.gov/boards/local.shtm||6VAC15-40-610. Volume and content of inmate mail. |
Written policy, procedure, and practice shall ensure that there is no limit on the volume of mail an inmate may send or receive, or on the length, language, content, or source of such mail, except where there is clear and convincing evidence to justify such limitations.
|Washington||Washington Department of Corrections||Undetermined||http://www.doc.wa.gov/default.asp||When the offender bears the mailing cost, there is no limit on the volume of letters s/he can send or receive, or on the length, content, or source of mail or publication, except when there is reasonable belief limitation is necessary to protect public safety or facility order and security. [4-4488]||http://www.doc.wa.gov/policies/default.aspx?show=400||Yes|
|West Virginia||West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority||Undetermined||From the Authority's website: |
The West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority was created by the West Virginia Legislature in 1985. The purpose of the Authority is to provide safe, secure and humane care for persons ordered to be incarcerated by the courts."
|http://www.rja.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx||None||Administrative Code: |
|Wisconsin||Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Office of Detention Facilities||Binding||From the Office's website: |
The DOC is responsible for the regulation and oversight of all local detention facilities, including county jails, houses of correction, secure juvenile detention centers, unlocked Huber facilities, work camps and municipal lockups. Through the Office of Detention Facilities (ODF), the DOC establishes reasonable standards for the design, construction, repair, maintenance, operation and management of these facilities."
"Staff conduct annual inspections of each facility, provide technical assistance to local jurisdictions, training to jail staff, and coordinate a variety of efforts to assist sheriffs, police chiefs and other local officials in the operation and management of their facilities. ODF also investigates complaints, deaths, suicides, and other unusual incidents which occur in local detention facilities."
|Wyoming||Wyoming Department of Corrections||Advisory||http://corrections.wy.gov/doc/index.html||Limits on Inmate Mail. When the inmate bears the mailing cost, there is no limit on the volume of letters the inmate can send or receive or on the length, language, content, or source of mail or publications except when there is a reasonable belief that limitation is necessary to protect public safety or correctional facility order and security (such as when the mail is otherwise in violation of this policy and procedure or WDOC Policy and Procedure #3.006, Property Control). (ACA 4-4488)||http://corrections.wy.gov/policies/index.html||No|