New York Codes, Rules and Regulations
Title 7 - DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND COMMUNITY SUPERVISION
Chapter VIII - Institutional Programs
Part 720 - Inmate Correspondence Program
Section 720.3 - Outgoing mail

Current through Register Vol. 44, No. 38, September 21, 2022

An inmate may submit correspondence to be sent to any person or business, subject to the conditions and limitations herein.

(a) Negative correspondence and telephone list. Whenever the recipient of inmate correspondence indicates, in any manner, that he or she does not wish to receive further correspondence from the inmate, the correspondence unit, the package room, the Deputy Superintendent for Security, the Supervising Offender Rehabilitation Coordinator, the Facility Community Supervision Office and the inmate shall be notified. Departmental Form 3402 shall be used for notification. A copy will be filed.

(1) The negative correspondence and telephone list shall contain the name of any person or business that has indicated, in any manner, that further correspondence from the inmate is not desired. If a request to be removed from an inmate's telephone or correspondence list is received, a confirmation letter shall be sent to the person making the request. If such a person indicates, at a later time, that further correspondence is not objectionable, the superintendent or his/her designee may, but need not, direct the name of that person or business be removed from the negative correspondence and telephone list. Upon receipt of a request to be placed on an inmate's negative correspondence and telephone list, the requester is to be informed of the toll-free telephone number for the Office of Victim Assistance. The requester should also be told that the Office of Victim Assistance is available to explain release notification options and access to Crime Victim Compensation funds, and when appropriate, to make referrals to support groups or community services such as those assisting victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.

(2) A parent, custodian or legal guardian of an inmate's child who requests that the facility prohibit correspondence between the inmate and the inmate's child should be informed that the request cannot be granted absent a court order. However, if an inmate violates department correspondence procedures, correspondence may be limited as with any other person.

(3) No inmate shall continue to submit mail to be sent to a person or business which currently appears on the inmate's negative correspondence and telephone list. Any inmate who continues to submit mail to such a person or business may be subject to disciplinary action and/or monitoring of outgoing mail for a specified period of time.

(4) No inmate may correspond or make telephone calls to any person who is listed on an active court order of protection which prohibits such contacts. The name of the person(s) will be added to the negative correspondence and telephone list. Departmental form 3402 will be completed and used for notification. A copy will be filed.

(b) Advance approval. Correspondence by an inmate to the following persons requires special advance approval.

(1) Unrelated minors under 18 years of age. Written approval of the minor's parent or legal guardian must be obtained prior to correspondence with an unrelated minor. The inmate may address a letter to the parent or legal guardian to obtain such approval.

(2) Persons under probation or community supervision. Authorization from the superintendent and the probation or parole officer must be obtained before the inmate may correspond with a probationer or parolee. Such correspondence will usually be limited to immediate family members.

(3) Inmates in New York State, Federal or other correctional facilities. Authorization from the superintendents concerned must be obtained before an inmate may correspond with another inmate. See section 720.6 of this Part.

(4) Persons presently or formerly employed by the department or in a department facility. Unless an inmate is an immediate family member, authorization from the superintendent must be obtained before an inmate may correspond with any person who is a present or former employee of the department or presently or formerly employed in a department facility, or with any member of such person's household, at their personal or private residence address.

(5) Victims. Authorization from the superintendent must be obtained before an inmate may correspond with any victim of a crime for which the inmate has been convicted or is presently under indictment, or with any member of said victim's household who is not an immediate family member of the inmate. The name of the person(s) will be added to the negative correspondence and telephone list. Departmental form 3402 will be completed and used for notification. A copy will be filed.

(c) Except for oversize envelopes and parcels, inmate-to-inmate correspondence, and correspondence specified in section 721.3(a)(2) of this Title, outgoing correspondence may be sealed by the inmate.

(d) Oversize correspondence, defined as mail which cannot be enclosed in a standard business envelope, shall be inspected in the presence of the inmate by a designated security staff person for the presence of contraband.

(1) The superintendent may designate block, law library, package room, correspondence unit, "legal mail," "notary public," or other staff to conduct these inspections.

(2) Inspections shall be completed as soon as possible, but not later than 24 hours after request.

(3) Legitimate correspondence may be sealed by the inmate after inspection, and the inspecting staff person shall then sign the back of the envelope or parcel certifying inspection, and promptly deliver or forward the mail to the correspondence unit or business office, as appropriate.

(e) Outgoing correspondence, except as specified in section 721.3(a)(2) of this Title, shall not be opened, inspected, or read without express written authorization from the facility superintendent.

(1) The superintendent shall not authorize the opening or inspection of such outgoing mail unless there is a reason to believe that the provisions of any department directive, rule or regulation have been violated, that any applicable state or Federal law has been violated, or that such mail threatens the safety, security, or good order of a facility or the safety or well being of any person. Such written authorization shall set forth the specific facts forming the basis for the action.

(2) If after inspecting the contents of outgoing mail it is determined that the provisions of a directive, rule, regulation, or state or Federal law have been violated, or that such correspondence threatens the safety, security or good order of the facility or the safety or well being of any person, then the correspondence may be confiscated. The inmate must be informed in writing unless doing so would interfere with an ongoing investigation.

(3) Where the inmate has been so notified, he or she may appeal the action to the superintendent.

(f) All outgoing inmate mail will be stamped with the name and address of the correctional facility from which it is being sent and a postage meter star symbol.

(g) Outgoing mail should include the full address of the person to whom it is addressed. It should include the name, street address, city, state, and ZIP code. Inmates shall not submit correspondence to be sent to a post office box without a specifically identified addressee; the addressee (either a person or a business) shall be clearly identified. An insufficiently addressed envelope shall be opened to ensure that the letter is returned to the originator.

(h) An inmate may use envelopes and writing paper provided by the facility, or personal writing paper. Any printing on personalized writing paper is limited to the inmate's commitment name (unless the inmate's name has been legally changed), department identification number, and facility address. Personalized writing paper (not envelopes) may be ordered by the inmate from a commercial source.

(i) It is the responsibility of each inmate to print or type his or her return address on the front upper-left-hand corner and on the back flap of each outgoing envelope exactly as illustrated below. The inmate shall use his or her commitment name unless it has been legally changed. Failure to include all return address information in the order indicated may result in the opening and return of the mail to the inmate. If the correspondence unit is unable to identify the inmate sender, the mail will be destroyed by the facility.

____________ ____________

New York State

Great Meadow Correctional Facility Department of Corrections and Community

Box 51 Supervision

Comstock, New York 12821-0051 John Doremi, 78-X-999

John Doremi, 78-X-999

(Envelope - front - upper left) (Envelope - back flap - centered)

(j) A facility may restrict what appears on the outside of an outgoing envelope.

(k) Inmates shall not conduct a mail-order or other business while under the custody of the department. Superintendents may direct administrative services, program services, or security services deputies to monitor correspondence patterns and financial accounts to detect any irregularities which would indicate this type of activity. Violation of this policy by an inmate may result in disciplinary action and/or the monitoring of outgoing correspondence for a specified period of time.

(l) Inmates shall not use their correspondence privileges to solicit or otherwise commercially advertise for money, services, or goods.

(m) Correspondence privileges shall not be used by an inmate to engage in any form of gambling or to participate in any lottery, sweepstakes, or chain letter operation.

(n) An inmate may send, at his/her own expense, a certified or registered letter, and the inmate upon request will be provided with a "return receipt" after delivery has been made.

(o) An inmate must request and pay for certified or registered mail service in order to have a valued personal document mailed out from personal property secured by the facility inmate records coordinator. Whenever such mail is prepared and sent by the I.R.C., a copy of the disbursement form and postal documentation showing the item has been sent will be filed in that inmate's personal property folder. If a "return receipt" has been requested as part of the postal service, it shall go directly to the inmate.

(p) An inmate shall not include any written material in outgoing mail not specifically intended for the addressee identified on the exterior of the envelope. Likewise, an inmate shall not include in outgoing mail any written material for an inmate not specifically identified as the sender on the exterior of the envelope. This practice, sometimes known as "kiting" may be the basis for disciplinary action.

(q) Outgoing correspondence that does not comply with this Part will be opened and returned to the inmate. The correspondence unit shall indicate the reason for return.

Disclaimer: These regulations may not be the most recent version. New York may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
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