Section 274.96 of the U.S. Postal Service’s Administrative Support Manual states: “Authorized personnel of prisons, jails, or other correctional institutions, under rules and regulations promulgated by the institution, may open, examine and censor mail sent from or addressed to an inmate of the institution or jail. Moreover, once the U.S. Postal Service delivers the mail, it becomes the property of the institution, not the inmate. It is up to the discretion of the institution as to how mail will be processed. Outgoing mail is also the property of the institution until it is handed over to the U.S. Postal Service. Correctional Facility or jails are well within their authority to open, examine and censor outgoing correspondence and packages.
To send mail to a prisoner in the Lorain County Jail, address it as follows:
C/O Lorain County Jail
9896 Murray Ridge Road
Elyria, OH 44035
LORAIN COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE INMATE MAIL RULES
Inmates may receive correspondence in any quantity, amount and number on white postage pre-paid postcards. If any incoming mail is undeliverable because the inmate is no longer incarcerated in the facility, the material shall be marked “Return to Sender” and placed in the outgoing mail.
The Lorain County Jail will accept Legal mail or correspondence in envelope form from a court, attorney or
law firm (subject to verification). The envelope shall be opened and inspected for contraband in your presence.
NON-PRIVILEGED MAIL CENSORSHIP / REJECTION
Incoming and outgoing inmate mail correspondence shall be inspected to intercept non-permitted items. Mail is rejected or censored based on legitimate facility interests of order and security. Incoming enveloped letters, currency, enclosures, and other similar items are confiscated and the inmate advised of that action.
Incoming and outgoing correspondence is censored on a case by-case basis if it contains items including but not limited to the following:
- Non-privileged mail in envelope form, (incoming mail)
- Material that may tend to encourage or assist in disrupting the orderly operation of the facility
- Material that is sexually suggestive in nature
- Gang or hate oriented material
- Items containing glitter, crayon, marker, shows water/fluid marks or has a perfume/cologne odor
- Information regarding manufacture of explosives, weapons, or drugs
- Material relating to law enforcement, military, jail procedures or operations
- Prohibited items were included with mail (stamps, envelopes, writing paper, etc.)
- Altered postcards
- Excessive items
- Any other material deemed inappropriate or unacceptable
If the items are considered contraband and considered illegal by law they will be forwarded to law enforcement. At the discretion of the Jail Administrator or their designee contraband that is not considered illegal by law may be subject to disposal.
REJECTED MAIL NOTIFICATION
If incoming mail is deemed rejected you will be promptly notified by a written form letter stating the mail, material or publication that are withheld or rejected and the grounds for rejection. The sender of the rejected mail, material or publication will be sent a letter listing what has been rejected and the grounds for rejection. The rejected items shall be secured into your property.
REJECTED MAIL APPEALS
The inmate may appeal the rejection through the Inmate Grievance Procedure. The sender of the rejected material will be provided with contact information of the Jail Administrator or their designee to appeal the rejection.
The Lorain County Jail will not accept any packages for inmates without prior written approval by the Jail Administrator or their designee. Packages sent without prior approval will be returned to sender.
ACCEPTABLE MAIL ITEMS
The following are examples of acceptable mail items:
- White postage pre-paid postcards (not to exceed 4” by 6”)
- Legal mail in envelope or White postage pre-paid postcard form
- Reading material (softcover books, magazines, newspapers) mailed directly from a publisher or a reputable retailer
Inmates may send correspondence in any quantity, amount and number of white postage prepaid envelopes. An inmate may not correspond with jail employees, other inmates of the Lorain County Jail, contracted staff or volunteers of this facility. There is no limitation on the amount of mail you may send. Outgoing mail shall not be withheld or censored unless there is a strong probable cause to believe it is necessary. Inmates may send mail to anyone outside the facility provided that there are no court orders or other legal or security concerns that would prohibit such contact. Only white postage pre-paid envelopes will be used by inmates to send outgoing mail. All white postage pre-paid envelopes must be purchased through the facility commissary system.
OUTGOING MAIL COLLECTION
Outgoing mail is to be placed in the mailbox located in your housing area. The mail will be collected from the mailboxes on a daily basis as operations permit by the afternoon shift.
Any type of make shift packages are prohibited and will not be mailed. It is up to the discretion of the Officer in Charge if the package will be returned to you or placed into your personal property.
Inmates provide their own postage, in the amounts required by the US Postal Service. Pre-Stamped white envelopes are available through commissary and in indigent bags. The Lorain County Jail is not responsible to regulate or control the amount of postage required for mailing, or what the U.S. Postal Services does with the mail once it is placed in their control.