According to a representative from the SRCSO, Sheriff Wendell Hall is expected to release a statement regarding the ACLU suit sometime today or tomorrow. The new policy only allows prisoners to correspond with friends and family through postcards.
ACLU attorney Benjamin Stevenson tells IN he hopes there can be an “amicale resolution,” but notes the current policy is unconstitional and effects more than just the prisoners.
“Inmates and their friends and families ought to be able to send and receive letters. This needlessly punishes not only inmates…some who haven’t even been convicted…but also their friends and families.”
Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan refused to comment on the ACLU lawsuit or the SRCSO.
Here is the current policy from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office regarding prison mail:
“The policy of the Escambia Sheriff’s Office is to provide mail privileges to inmates. Inmates are encouraged to maintain general and legitimate correspondence with family and other persons immediately concerned with the inmate’s welfare.”
Mail service will be provided Monday through Friday. Incoming and outgoing mail will be distributed within 24 hours excluding weekends and holidays.
Incoming and outgoing mail will be handled without delay. Mail will be received only through the facilities (FCAC 12.06).
Incoming mail will not be limited nor will a list of correspondents be maintained (FCAC 12.08). Exceptions may result from documented security or administrative management concerns.
Correspondence between inmates housed in the detention facilities or the Escambia County Road Prison will not be permitted.
1. This requirement is necessary to:
a. Ensure the orderly, safe, and secure operation of the detention facilities
b. Ensure contraband is not passed or received via the US Mail
c. Guard against activities or actions which may jeopardize the secure confinement of any inmate
d. Prevent collaboration of inmate co-defendants.
2. Exceptions may be granted to inmates having immediate family members incarcerated in the facilities at the same time. Immediate family members are defined as:
a. Husband or wife
b. Mother or father
c. Brothers or sisters
d. Sons or daughters
3. Inmates wishing to correspond with immediate family members in the facilities must submit requests to the Programs/Counseling staff using the Inmate Request/Refusal Form.
a. The Programs Coordinator will verify family status and will stamp approved or disapproved on the envelope.
b. Approved correspondence between incarcerated family members will be via US Mail only.