subchapter 12b prisons: public communications

 

section .0100 inmate use of mail

 

14B NCAC 12B .0101 GENERAL

(a) Inmates may write to anyone, but an individual inmate's privileges to write to a particular person or persons may be withdrawn by the superintendent/warden of the correctional facility to which the inmate is assigned, upon request of the recipient, or if the recipient is a minor, at the request of his or her parents or legal guardian. Writing privileges also may be terminated for any of the reasons stated in Rule .0307(e) of this Section. The reason for withdrawal must be stated in a written notice to the inmate that should refer specifically to the letters previously returned.

(b) It is the purpose of the mail policy to protect citizens in the community from offensive or threatening letters and prevent criminal activities and escape plots from developing through correspondence. To accomplish this, it is the responsibility of each facility mail room to stamp the outside of each piece of outgoing inmate mail (including packages) with the name of the correctional facility, (ex., Mailed from Columbus Correctional Center). The stamp should be affixed to the front of the envelope above the address and between the return address and the postage stamp. This is not required at community residential facilities, i.e., Wilmington Residential Facility for Women.

(c) The superintendent/warden will be responsible for developing and implementing facility mail procedures consistent with this policy. The facility procedures must be reviewed annually to assure compliance with current Division of Prisons policy.

 

History Note: Authority G.S. 148-11;

Eff. November 1, 1991;

Transferred from 05 NCAC 02D .0306 Eff. June 1, 2013.

14B NCAC 12B .0102 CORRESPONDENCE

(a) Legal Mail.

(1) Definition: Mail to or from attorneys, state and federal courts, the Attorney General of the United States or the Attorney General of North Carolina, the judiciary, the Industrial Commission, or legal aid services and paralegals.

(2) Legal mail from inmates shall not be opened for inspection or impeded in its transmission. If there is any question as to whether an addressee is one of these persons, the mail can be held for not more than 24 hours to resolve the question.

(3) Postage for legal mail from inmates will be paid from the Operating Fund provided the inmate is indigent. No other eligibility requirements apply to postage for legal mail. The 10 letter limitation on personal mail does not apply to legal mail.

(b) Department of Correction Officials.

(1) Definition: The Secretary of Correction, the Director of Prisons, any member of the Grievance Resolution Board or its staff, any member of the Board of Correction, the Parole Commission or its staff, or any official of the Department of Correction in the chain of command above the superintendent/warden of the facility to which the inmate is assigned, are defined as DOC officials.

(2) Mail to DOC officials will be accepted within our system without postage.

(3) Mail to DOC officials shall not be opened for inspection or impeded in its transmission. If there is any question as to whether an addressee is one of these persons, the mail can be held for not more than 24 hours to resolve the question.

(c) Other Government Officials.

(1) Definition: Any member of the Congress of the United States or any member of the General Assembly of North Carolina; the President of the United States or the Governor of North Carolina; the Director or any agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation are defined as other government officials.

(2) Mail to other government officials will be considered as personal mail for the purpose of postage.

(3) Mail to other government officials shall not be opened for inspection or impeded in its transmission. If there is any question as to whether an addressee is one of these persons, the mail can be held for not more than 24 hours to resolve the question.

(d) Personal Mail.

(1) Definition: Any mail to or from an inmate that is not defined in Paragraphs (a), (b), or (c) of this Rule.

(2) Postage for personal mail from inmates without funds will be paid from the Operating Fund provided the inmate is indigent.

(3) 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.

(e) Other Outgoing Mail. Personal mail from inmates may be sealed when placed in the outgoing mail and shall not be opened and censored unless the superintendent/warden or his designee has good cause to believe that:

(1) The mail contains threats of physical harm against any person or threats of criminal activity.

(2) The mail threatens blackmail or extortion.

(3) The mail concerns sending contraband in and out of the correctional facility.

(4) The mail concerns plans to escape.

(5) The mail concerns plans to violate departmental rules and policies necessary to maintain security and control.

(6) The mail concerns plans for criminal activity or violation of state or federal laws.

(7) The mail concerns information which if communicated would create a clear and present danger of violence and physical harm.

(f) Incoming Mail.

(1) Inspection: The superintendent/warden shall provide for the inspection of all incoming mail by qualified members of the correctional facility. The inspection shall serve to prevent inmates from receiving through the mail contraband or any other material that threatens to undermine the security and order of the facility or which cannot be lawfully sent through the mail. Mail to inmates which appears to be from one of the persons listed in Paragraph (a) of this Rule, shall be opened by correctional staff in the presence of the inmate. Correctional staff will insure that the contents of letters from persons listed in Paragraph (a), (b), or (c) of this Rule are free of contraband and are in fact official or legal correspondence from the person whose name and return address appears on the outside of the envelope or package. The correspondence shall not be read beyond what is necessary to make this determination.

(2) Censorship: Incoming personal mail may be opened and read by the superintendent/warden or his designee only if he has reason to believe that the contents of the letter fall into one of the categories listed in Paragraph (e) of this Rule. This Paragraph and Paragraph (e) of this Rule allow for inspection and censorship of mail only when necessary to protect the security of the facility and prevent criminal activity. No letter is to be opened or censored in order to eliminate critical opinions of Departmental policy or the Department's employees. All incoming personal mail is to be inspected but not read unless it falls in one of the categories listed in Paragraph (e) of this Rule.

(g) Mass Mailing. Any massive attempt to use the mails to reach the inmate population or facility is inherently suspect. If the superintendent/warden has good cause to believe that such an attempt has been initiated in order to cause disruption or otherwise threaten the order and security of the facility, the mail involved will be censored. If necessary, due to the security consideration stated in this Paragraph, the superintendent/warden may refuse delivery of this mail without notice to the inmate addressee.

(h) Rules on Letter Content and Structure.

(1) Letters to and from inmates must be written in English. If the superintendent/warden determines that the inmate is unable to read or write in English, then the superintendent/warden may allow the inmate to receive or send correspondence in his/her native language. If the superintendent/warden has reason to believe the contents of the letter falls into one of the categories in Paragraph (e) of this Rule, he may secure an accurate translation by any means including access to local resources, (high schools, community colleges, universities, etc.).

(2) Letters may be typewritten, printed, or written legibly in longhand.

(3) Letters to inmates should be addressed so that the full name of the inmate appears on the envelope. The inmate shall instruct his correspondents to use the correct address as posted on the inmate's bulletin board.

(4) Letters from inmates must have their full name and return address of the facility in the upper left corner of the envelope.

 

History Note: Authority G.S. 148-11;

Eff. November 1, 1991;

Amended Eff. October 1, 1992;

Transferred from 05 NCAC 02D .0307 Eff. June 1, 2013.

 

14B NCAC 12B .0103 PROCEDURES FOR CENSORSHIP

If the superintendent/warden or designee decides that an inmate should be prohibited from sending or receiving any personal mail, the inmate should be notified in writing within 24 hours of the reason for censorship. The inmate shall be afforded the opportunity to appeal the decision in writing, within seven days, directly to the Director of the Division of Prisons. The Director of Prisons or designee shall have the authority to reverse the prior decision if it is believed there is insufficient cause for the prohibition. The Director must take action on the appeal in seven days from the time the inmate's appeal is received.

 

History Note: Authority G.S. 148-11;

Eff. November 1, 1991;

Transferred from 05 NCAC 02D .0308 Eff. June 1, 2013.

 

14B NCAC 12B .0104 PACKAGES AND OTHER ITEMS

(a) Sent by Inmates. Packages and envelopes larger than 4-1/4 X 9-1/2" addressed to persons other than one of those listed in Rule .0102(a), (b), or (c) of this Section, may not be sealed for mailing by an inmate until inspected by a correctional officer and found free of contraband or material which constitutes a threat to the order and security of the facility or which cannot be lawfully sent through the mail. This inspection shall be done in the presence of the inmate. If cleared for mailing, the item shall be sealed and placed in the mail by the sender in the presence of the inspector.

(b) Sent to Inmates. Additional items sent to inmates shall be subject to inspection and handling by a correctional officer. The inspection shall be done in a secure location in the facility and shall not be done in the presence of the inmate. If the officer determines that the package or envelope contains contraband or other material that threatens the order and security of the facility, this material shall be confiscated.

(c) Additional Items Sent to Inmates. In addition to letters, the following items may be received by an inmate through the mail, and are always subject to inspection and handling as provided in these Regulations:

(1) clothing approved for use while incarcerated;

(2) clothing to be used upon release (if received within 15 days of a scheduled release date);

(3) musical instruments (when approval is secured in advance from the superintendent/warden);

(4) unframed photographs, not to exceed 8" x 10";

(5) legal papers;

(6) publications which may be received under 05 NCAC 02D .0100;

(7) religious items;

(8) money shall be sent by postal or bank money order or cashiers or certified checks. Cash that is concealed or hidden within other mailed items in an attempt to avoid detection shall prompt an investigation and appropriate disciplinary action. Procedures for the proper handling of money are internal matters and are contained in Department of Correction Administrative Policy and Procedures Manual .1002 (b) (1).

(d) Inmate Request for Other Items. Any inmate may request in writing permission from the Command Manager to receive through the mail a specific item that is not otherwise authorized. This request shall be forwarded through the chain of command to permit the views of area staff to be expressed. Seasonal items may be authorized by the Director of Prisons in addition to the list of items an inmate may receive through the mail.

(e) COD Packages Sent to Inmates. No COD packages shall be accepted for any inmate and no inmate shall be authorized to send mail COD. Unauthorized items arriving by mail shall be returned to the sender at the expense of the inmate addressed. If the inmate is without funds, the package shall be returned at the state's expense or the inmate may donate it to a charitable organization or request it to be destroyed. A copy of the mail regulations shall be enclosed in the package to be returned. Packages that postal authorities will not accept for return to the sender shall be delivered to some charitable organization, or to a law enforcement agency and a receipt shall be obtained for the same.

 

History Note: Authority G.S. 148-11;

Eff. November 1, 1991;

Amended Eff. October 1, 1992;

Transferred from 05 NCAC 02D .0309 Eff. June 1, 2013.

 

SECTION .0200 - INMATE LABOR FOR PUBLIC WORK PROJECTS

 

14B NCAC 12B .0201 POLICY

(a) General. The policy of the State of North Carolina is that all able-bodied prison inmates shall be required to perform diligently all work assignments provided for them. Work assignments and employment shall be for the public benefit to reduce the cost of maintaining the inmate population while enabling inmates to acquire or retain skills and work habits needed to secure honest employment after their release.

(b) Conditions for Use of Inmate Labor. The use of inmate labor for public work projects must meet the following conditions:

(1) The project or service involved is a type of work that inmates are qualified to perform.

(2) The project or service is of benefit to the citizens of North Carolina or units of state or local government.

(3) The project or service is not one that would normally be performed by private industry or non-inmate labor if inmate labor were not available.

(c) Contracts. The Department of Correction may make contracts with departments, institutions, agencies, and other political subdivisions of the State of North Carolina for the use of inmate labor that will help make the prisons as nearly self-supporting as is consistent with the purpose of their creation.

(d) Prohibitions. The following prohibitions apply to inmates being used for public work projects:

(1) Inmates who are eligible and have been accepted for work release, study release and vocational rehabilitation may not be used.

(2) Adult inmates are prohibited from working at or being on the premises of any school or institution operated or administered by the Division of Youth Services, Department of Human Resources.

 

History Note: Authority G.S. 66-58; 148-26;

Eff. February 11, 1976;

Amended Eff. June 1, 1984;

Transferred from 05 NCAC 02D .0701 Eff. June 1, 2013.

 

14B NCAC 12B .0202 APPROVAL OF CONTRACTS

Area administrators/institution heads will have authority to approve contracts which provide inmate labor for public works. A copy of the executed contract will be sent to the Central Accounting Office.

 

History Note: Authority G.S. 148-26.5;

Eff. June 1, 1984;

Transferred from 05 NCAC 02D .0706 Eff. June 1, 2013.