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
CORRESPONDENCE – Inmates may send and receive correspondence in any quantity, amount and number of pages. An inmate may not correspond with jail employees, contracted staff, or volunteers of this facility. 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.
NON-PRVILEGED MAIL CENSORSHIP / REJECTION – Incoming and outgoing inmate mail, correspondence shall be opened and inspected to intercept non-permitted items. Mail is rejected or censored based on legitimate facility interests of order and security. Currency, unauthorized 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:
- Information regarding manufacture of explosives, weapons, or drugs
- Material that may tend to encourage or assist in disrupting the orderly operation of the facility that would achieve the breakdown of jails through inmate disruption such as strikes or riots, work stoppage or other breech of institutional rules
- Material that would encourage deviant sexual behavior
- Pornographic or sexual material
- Gang or hate oriented material
- Material relating to law enforcement, military, or jail procedures or operations
- 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 his designee contraband that is not considered illegal by law may be subject to disposal.
REJECTED MAIL NOTIFICATION – If incoming mail is deemed rejected the inmate 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 in the inmates 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 to appeal the rejection.
PACKAGES – The Lorain County Jail will not accept any packages for inmates without prior written approval by the Jail Administrator or his designee. Packages sent without prior approval will be returned to sender.
PRIVILEGED MAIL – Legal mail or correspondence shall be opened and inspected for contraband in the
presence of the inmate.
ACCEPTABLE MAIL ITEMS – The following are examples of acceptable mail items:
- Letters or Cards (not to exceed 5” by 7”)
- Five (5) Pictures per letter, ten (10) maximum per cell.
- Reading material (softcover books, magazines, newspapers) mailed directly from a publisher or a reputable retailer.
OUTGOING INMATE MAIL – There is no limitation on the amount of mail an inmate may send. Outgoing mail shall not be withheld or censored unless there is a strong probable cause to believe it is necessary.