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  #1  
Old 04-24-2003, 04:31 PM
yearning soul yearning soul is offline
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Default Do prison mailrooms read incoming mail?

Something very unusual is going on with me and Corey. Okay, we write eachother at least two to three times a week, and it only takes two to three days for us to receive eachother's letters. So last week I mailed him off a letter Tuesday and Wednesday, knowing that he would get them at least by Friday or Saturday. All this week I hadn't received a response from either of the letters that I wrote him so I knew something was wrong. Then today I get a letter from Corey and he was all worried and concerned because he said that he hadn't received any responses to the letters that he wrote me and wanted to know what was going on with me, so that means he never got my letters! Then I remember in one of the letters I said it's good that he is standing tall to the warden in order to get his visiting privileges reinstated back to him, because in his letter this is what he was telling me he was doing. I also referred to the warden in a rude manner, so I'm assuming that maybe a c/o or the warden himself got a hold of that letter and read it, and out of spite they are throwing away any mail that I send to Corey. I just hope and pray this is not the case, but I was just wondering is it typical for the mailroom to actually read the contents of the letters being sent to inmates? I mean I know that they have to check the mail for any foreign substances or material, but I didn't know that they would read the letters, don't the inmates get some type of privacy in there? I'm still kinda new to the correctional system, so I don't know how they go about doing certain things. I just hope that I receive a letter from Corey saying that he has gotten my letters, because I have sent more since those last two letters and still haven't gotten a response.
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Old 04-24-2003, 04:36 PM
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FROM MY EXPERIENCE YES THEY DO READ THE MAIL WE SEND IN. TERRANCE WENT THROUGH A SPELL WHERE HE DIDNT GET ANY MAIL FROM ME AND WHEN HE STARTED WRITING THEM UP ON IT THEY GAVE IT TO HIM. WHY THEY KEPT IT I DONT KNOW BECAUSE THERE WAS NOTHING IN THEM. BUT I WOULD SAY YES THEY READ THEM AND THATS WHY HE HASNT GOTTEN THEM
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Old 04-24-2003, 04:47 PM
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I can only respond with what I know with my Partners situation in MO.

Yes, they can and will read the mail but from my experience they do not read the 'content' unless you are on the radar screen for something. We have never personally had any delays in mail coming or going...

MO is pretty strict about only 5 pages of non-letter material but I have copied and pasted pages and pages of information and articles into what looks like a letter and it goes through. If however I insert separate pages it gets counted and if there is too much they send it back.

Yes, they are mostly looking for contraband so that is why a lot of prisons do not allow stickers and/or stamps or certain types of cards...

I also think and have heard of many situations where mail is just held for no apparent reason. I know of one member here that was receiving letters from her man for a month asking why she was not writing??? She had written every day and then all of a sudden at the 30 day mark he got 30+ letters all at once. There was a block on her phone so she could not talk to him and explain that she was writing... It was tearing her apart that he was writing thinking that she was not...

You just have to go with the flow here and have patience.

Now, someone may correct me on this but unless you are specifically writing about something that is illegal or would tip off a situation... I don't think that they can NOT deliver the mail eventually. They may hold it to be read but I don't think that they can not deliver it sometime.
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  #4  
Old 04-24-2003, 05:07 PM
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Usually, they only read the mail of known gang members. They do not have time to sit there and read every piece of mail that comes through the mailroom. If they did that, our loved ones wouldn't get their mail for months There's just too much volume. They do scan through the mail. I don't think Corey has anything to worry about unless he is a confirmed gang member or a security threat. And believe me, the wardens could care less what you or anybody else thinks about them
I'm sure everything will be fine, maybe the mailroom person was out sick and there was a delay in the mail. It happens all the time. I'm sure the mail will be back on schedule soon.
Good luck!! And believe me, everyone here has experienced the dreaded mailroom problem
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Old 04-24-2003, 05:14 PM
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I have no idea for sure, but there is definitely something funny. Usually my brother gets his letters in about a week. Then, one day he suddenly got a whole bunch that was almost a month old.
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Old 04-24-2003, 05:57 PM
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Thanks guys, I'm really hoping that it's just a careless delay such as the mailroom lady being sick or something, but I will definitely keep writing him until I get a response from him saying that he's gotten all of my letters.
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Old 04-24-2003, 06:32 PM
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They do read some mail....especially if they suspect something...Theres a lot of reasons why it could have been held up....mail room ppl being off, holidays, etc.

sometimes I think if they don't finish the mail today....they put tomorrows on top of it so sometimes our letters get stuck at the bottom of the pile.

My husband and I have a mail system that seems to work....
I put a code at the end of my letter and on a back corner of the envelope. I use a simple code....the month and # of letter...the first letter in May will be 1may, then 2 may, etc.

this way my husband knows if a letter did not arrive.

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Old 04-24-2003, 06:34 PM
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In theory, they are to shake it, sniff it, and glance at it long enough to see if an escape map is ascribed anywhere on it.
They are not to make off with it to their lair unless under order from Internal Affairs, or with an actual search/siezure warrant in hand.
They would read it if (as above) that 'informal' investigation is underway...
In some cases it's just the math...
Prison has 1100 people in population. On a given day, the folks who get none are balanced by the ones who get a handful. The time a given 'mail' officer or officers spend treading through each letter (the one ahead of your's) is exponential. The Mail officer's can also be splitting their day with doing processing of home/vendor boxes, and or can get pulled for escort or chase car for someone(s) going to be transported on medical or court outings... Mail people are disposable in that regard.
If they've got those happy white boxes of incoming all around them, and duty has called elsewhere or they are just innundated with stuff to do --meticulously-- it isn't out of the realm of possibility that the last 12 boxes don't get searched, and therefore don't get distributed. Then you're working on the DGR schedule.. They'd get to them when they are DamnedGood-n-Ready.

Magazines, letters, postcards, in godknows how many different languages which they MUST think are code...., boxes and any other chiefcook/bottlewash duty they can be tapped for-- is how these people spend their day.

Just some food for thought.
Oh, and PS... "Never write down anything that you wouldn't want to read in the Post"... (or paper in your neighborhood.)
  #9  
Old 04-24-2003, 07:40 PM
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THEY CAN READ IT, SHAKE IT, SMELL IT, NOT DELIVER IT, FORGET TO DELIVER IT FOR A WEEK , LOSE IT, TAKE STUFF OUT OF IT, SEND IT BACK! WHATEVER THEY CHOOSE! IT'S THEIR WORLD!
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Old 04-24-2003, 08:06 PM
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yes, they read the mail. Some of them have nothing better to do. I have to write the number of pages I put in an envelope and date. Some how pages end up missing and oops they forgot to write a rejection. I once wrote to someone who was in prison and her boyfriend was in jail on charges and lo behold the police were calling me to see if I knew anything about his crime and reading me parts of the letter that the MDOC faxed to them.
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  #11  
Old 04-24-2003, 08:45 PM
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well if they do read the mail here in texas, i hope they get a kick out of some of the stories that i send to ken



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Old 04-24-2003, 09:32 PM
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I know they are reading my mail going into him. I get his mail every 2 days and he has to wait 5-6 days to get any from me........which makes him totally stressed out.
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Old 04-24-2003, 11:30 PM
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Yes they read the mail. They also tape all of the phone calls and save the tapes for a minimum of two years in case they need to refer back to them for anything. Alot of people don't know that.
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Old 04-24-2003, 11:56 PM
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I try not to think about it when I write but I think that they do read the mail. I don't let that fact take away from me and anthony's relationship though. It get's mad stressfull at times though.
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  #15  
Old 04-25-2003, 07:00 AM
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Default mailroom and cos

I am a former co, and the mail room officers open and examine all mail. They do not read all of it, but at random they will read letters at random "just for kicks". Most of the idiots that do this have no business of their own, so they want to be in everyone else's. I resigned, and the inmate I am engaged to was transfered. Shane's brother is still at Hays, and they read all his incoming mail. They harass him constantly about me and Shane. They will call me and say things that came out of his letter. I resigned in Jan 2003, and this is still going on now even though Shane and I are both gone. It is childish, pathetic behavior but the Gdc is so screwed up that there is nothing I can do. Also, if an inmate is locked down pending investigation for anything, they always read their mail. They can keep if it they choose to, and there is nothing that can be done because they say it's part of the investigation. Alot of officers throw away the mail if it is for an inmate they do not like, and there is no way to prove this. The system sucks, and I feel for these inmates so much. After working there for three years, I see that they have so few pleasures in life. Their mail is their window to the outside. I wish everyone could see them when they know it's time for mail call. It's truly heartbreaking the happiness they get from simply receiving a letter. So, how could someone take that from them for no reason at all? I am sure this isn't what you wanted to hear, but I just wanted you to know what really goes on. If anyone knows anything we can do about this, let me know and I am with you.
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Old 04-25-2003, 08:50 AM
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The mail is screwy right at this moment.
They say they do read the out going mail, but not all units do. Some units just read the in coming mail. Please keep in mind though with all that they are finding in the mail, the mail is going to be screwy
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Old 04-25-2003, 08:53 AM
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Well if they do read mail I'm sure they read the last letter I sent my on's father. On the envelope I called him an a**hole and told him to go to hell. I'm sure anyone would be curious after reading something like that. I'm not even madd. I wanted everyone even the mail man to know what an a**hole he is.Normally though when I wwrite letters I try not to discuss his case or past or anything that they can hold against him. Hey they can't punish him for being a jerk to me.
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Old 04-25-2003, 10:48 AM
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You guys it's Friday and I still haven't received a letter from Corey! Thanks for the insight Belle2000, because currently Corey is on lockdown for an incident that happened a while back with him and another inmate, and after reading what you said there isn't a doubt in my mind that they've read my letters and just threw them away, but it's all good. Once he's able to call me I'll explain to him the situation, because now he probably thinks that I'm just not writing him and that's not the case.
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Old 04-25-2003, 06:07 PM
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Yearning Soul, I am quite positive that is what is happening now that you said he was locked down due to an incident with another inmate. He probably hasn't received your letters, but if by chance he has, they are holding his outgoing mail. They always do, yet they never bother to tell the inmate or his family. I recommend calling his counselor, and tell them the situation. Tell them that you have been writing as normal, but you have not heard from him and you are very worried. Almost all counselor's that I have worked with and dealt with regarding Shane have been extremly helpful. At the very least, they will check on him and let you know he is okay. I am not sure about Corey's prison, but at Hays and Calhoun the inmate only gets one phone call per month when locked down. It's like pulling teeth to get the officer to even let him make his one call. It is the officer's job to get him that phone, yet they act like it's such an inconvinience. I apologize on behalf of the good officers out there. I know there are some, because I was one. These immature idiots they hire give cos a bad name, but don't give up! There really are people who care and are willing to help you and Corey during his incarceration. Keep your head up! I am here if I can help in any way!
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Old 04-25-2003, 07:19 PM
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You know Belle2000 I thought about calling up to his prison (he's in Evans Correctional Institute in SC by the way) to see if I could speak to someone in the mailroom about this but I figured all they would do was beat around the bush with me and would be no help, but you say I can call his counselor? I didn't know they had a couselor you could call to check up on them, I will definitely be sure to do that first thing Monday morning, i'm assuming they don't take care of stuff like that on the weekends, do you know? And me and Corey are still in the process of trying to get me on his phone list, he sent me the form about a month ago and I filled it out and sent it off, but he hasn't called me yet. I called my phone company to make sure that they were a service provider for his prison but they weren't, so I had to call his prison, get the number to the phone company who is there service provider and open up an account with him so he would be able to call, so now all I can do is wait desperately for his phone call! And he did mention to me that he would be able to call once a month since he's on lockdown, I'm just wondering when during the month can he call. I hope it's at the end of the month so that there's a possibility that he may call sometimes soon. I just really need to hear from him. Thanks for your advice and support also
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Old 04-25-2003, 09:06 PM
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Call his counselor for sure first thing Monday morning! If you do not know his specific counselor's name, ask to speak wit the chief counselor. Explain to them what is going on, and he/she will either find out for you or connect you with his counselor. The counselors handle everything like this, including mail. Calling the mailroom is pointless. They will either flat out lie to you, or they will give you a complete run around for as long as you let them. The counselors do the visitation lists and phone lists, and any grievances go through the counselor. When you and Corey finally get in contact, tell him he needs to file a grievance on all this. This is crazy that they are treating ya'll this way. I am not sure how long you said Corey had been down, but if he has never filed a grievance before I will be glad to help ya'll. The DOC generally does not put up with this type of treatment, but you have to make sure it goes to the top so they know. The particular prison will try to smooth it over there once a grievance is filed. When they see that the inmate isn't going to put up with it, they sing a new tune. You just don't know the trouble they have put Shane and I through. :argh I'll have to tell you all about it one day! As far as the phone calls, at Hays there was no certain day of the month. When the officers weren't doing anything, the inmate would ask for the phone. The log book would be checked, and if the inmate had not made a call that month, the phone would be brought to him. Well, that is how it was supposed to work. Usually the co was too lazy to put his book down and get up, so he would not run the phone. When the inmates would complain to the supervisor, the supervisor would either back the officer or the officer would log down that he did call. It is just crazy. I let them make as many calls as they wanted as long as I wasn't truly busy and they didn't give me a hard time. When he does call, remember always that it is recorded, and they do listen! If you get a counselor that is sympathetic, he may bring Corey to the office and let him make a quick call just to let you know he is okay. I may be able to help you on this, also. They are not there on weekends, but do call first thing Monday. See what you can get out of the counselor, and let me know. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you that this works. I know exactly how you are feeling right now. However, if they give you the slightest runaround, let me know asap, and we move on to plan B. If there is one thing I learned being a co, it's how to play the system instead of it playing you. PM or email me anytime you need anything, but let me know for sure Monday. I am anxious already. If I can help atleast one person with what I learned from those jerks, it was all worth it. GOOD LUCK GIRL!
  #22  
Old 04-25-2003, 09:47 PM
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All prisons do read mail. Both incomming and outgoing... But, unless they have a reason to believe that the person writing in is a harm to the prison, they will only scan incomming mail.. During a problem that Butch has had with a former employee of the DOC, they now read all his incomming mail... I have had some letters returned to me because of some of the content.... If you know there is no problem, then don't worry too much about what you say... Just keep if from sounding like to want to take him out of that place... That is a real no no...

Love Ya and hope this works out... Butch is 250 miles and I write to him once each week... He receives them once each week... It take 2 days to go in the mail and 2 days for them to check it and take it to him... It has sometimes been a little longer than that.

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Old 04-25-2003, 10:00 PM
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Yearning Soul, i have called and spoken to the mail room before. Sometimes they are helpful and will dig out his mail and get it right to him. Sometimes they just say they will look for it.
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Old 04-25-2003, 10:04 PM
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Belle2000, I am so thankful for your support and helping hand! An ex-c/o, you're just the person that I need to guide and help me through my hard times and frustration with the correctional system! And that's a shame how the c/os at Shane's prison give them such a hard time just to make one lousy phone call a month, and then when they try to exercise their rights, they spitefully mark down in the log book that they've already made a call for that month, that's just awful! Before Corey knew that he had to send me a telephone privilege request form, I had sent him my phone number because he said that he would ask the c/o if he could use the phone to call me real quick, but they wouldn't let him, so I know how ignorant they could be just to let them use the phone. And you say that he could file a grievance for them doing this to us? When he calls I will mention this to him, thank you for the helpful suggestion. Now that they're preventing us from receiving mail from eachother I am very worried that they are gonna try and find a way to stop him from calling me! I don't even know if I have been added to his phone list yet because he hasn't written me to let me know that he received any approved notification, I just took it upon myself today to call the phone company and make sure that he could get through once everything goes through. Once I talk to his counselor Monday I will pm you to let you know what's the word on everything, and I hope that the counselor is a nice one that wouldn't mind letting Corey calling me for a quick minute so we can touch basis about everything, we have been corresponding through mail for the past five months without ever speaking on the phone to eachother, so I really need to speak to him. Once again I thank you for your concern! And I will let you know what's going on as soon as I find out, I hope I receive a letter from him tomorrow, oh well, guess I'll just have to wait and see. THANK YOU!
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Old 04-25-2003, 10:47 PM
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I sent you a pm......
 

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