Pa doc inmate mail

The settlement was announced Friday by the department and four civil rights groups that had joined an inmate in suing the department over its mail screening policy.

In Septemberthe department decided to prohibit inmates from getting mail delivered directly from lawyers, family and friends. It was started to stem an influx of illegal synthetic drugs, primarily k2, being smuggled into prisons and creating security and medical problems for inmates and staff. It came three days after U. District Court Judge John E. Jones III heard testimony in his Harrisburg courtroom.

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The lawsuits, which were consolidated, challenged the legality of the legal mail searches, not the search of mail from family and friends. Mail from family and friends still will be screened. On Friday, Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said the settlement allows both sides to continue doing their jobs. One lawsuit was filed by inmate Davon Hayes, who is serving a life sentence at Smithfield prison. Mail from family and friends must now be sent to a Florida processing facility before it is opened, scanned and copied.

The copies are then sent back to the prison where the inmate is housed. Skip to content. The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has agreed per a lawsuit settlement to stop copying inmates legal mail as part of its drug security plans. Latest Pennsylvania News. Live Updates: Coronavirus in Pennsylvania. Susan Wild says Trump should change his mind and open special enrollment period for Obamacare. Pennsylvania coronavirus cases now at 26, Track them here.

Most Read. MAP: Where coronavirus is in Pennsylvania.As correctional facilities across the country transition more of their daily processes to technology, one part of each facility remains inundated with paper on a daily basis: the mailroom.

Message Link provides an electronic alternative to an otherwise inefficient and potentially tainted communication method. As contraband and cryptic messages are entering correctional facilities through an ever-rising level of creativity, Message Link provides a secure, controlled environment for inmate messaging. Combining the systems standard terminology library with the option of custom entries, the automated message review will flag messages for further staff investigation.

Once a staff member fully reads a message, it can be classified as delivered, redacted, flagged for follow-up, or blocked and then handled in the appropriate manner.

If a message is redacted or blocked, a notification is generated to both the sender and recipient informing them of the undelivered message. With all incoming inmate correspondence entering the facility as an English-translated, typewritten document, Message Link provides mailroom staff members with an efficient application to classify and distribute messages.

Utilizing our enhanced distribution application, staff members can pre-sort all approved messages to accommodate delivery schedules. An original version of each message — no matter what the classification type — is retained for an indefinite period of time. Only offered through our secure, industry-recognized payment portal — ConnectNetwork.

With the escalation of illicit tactics used to introduce contraband into correctional facilities, Message Link eliminates outside factors that may be used to mask any item that might be considered a security threat to a facility. Introducing GTL Genesis to a facility provides an automated alternative to manual, behind-the-bars activities. In addition, the GTL Genesis provides the opportunity to introduce new interactive technologies that help inmates manage their incarcerated time.

You will be redirected to ConnectNetwork in Deposit Funds Now! Providing a Secure and Fully Searchable Inmate Interaction Database As correctional facilities across the country transition more of their daily processes to technology, one part of each facility remains inundated with paper on a daily basis: the mailroom.

Efficiently Control, Review, and Distribute Inmate Messages With all incoming inmate correspondence entering the facility as an English-translated, typewritten document, Message Link provides mailroom staff members with an efficient application to classify and distribute messages.

Securely Retain All Messages An original version of each message — no matter what the classification type — is retained for an indefinite period of time.

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Deter Contraband Introduction Opportunities Only offered through our secure, industry-recognized payment portal — ConnectNetwork. Related Products. All Rights Reserved. Legal and Privacy.Criminal defense lawyers, including those who work with death row inmates, stopped sending legal documents in the mail to Pennsylvania prison inmates for fear their privacy was being compromised by government officials, according to testimony at a federal hearing Tuesday.

The lawyers testified in support of two consolidated lawsuits in U. District Court in Harrisburg. It was instituted last summer in an attempt to stem an influx of illegal synthetic drugs, primarily k2, from being dipped and dried onto mail. The influx led to a rash of security and medical problems, and a day lockdown of all state prisons. Drugs are getting into Pennsylvania prisons.

District Court Judge John E. Jones III. Evidence will show the colorless, odorless drug was mixed with ink before all types of documents, including legal correspondence, were printed and sent in the mail, he said. Since the mail screening was implemented, he said, the amount of smuggled drugs has plummeted and inmates still received their mail in a way that does not violate the legal rights of inmates and their lawyers. The department set up the mail system after officials said more than 50 staff members and 33 inmates were sickened and taken to hospitals between May 31 and Sept.

Most of the incidents occurred in facilities in western and central Pennsylvania. Corrections Secretary John Wetzel and Gov. Tom Wolf locked down more than a dozen prison to outsiders from Aug. Mail from family and friends must now be sent to a Florida processing facility before it is opened, scanned and copied. The copies are then sent back to the prison where the inmate is housed. Legal mail, identified by department-issued attorney control number or a court entity, can still be sent directly to the Pennsylvania prison.

With a videotape rolling, staff then opens legal mail in front of the inmate and shakes the envelop and documents around to see if contraband slips out. The material is then copied and that copy is given to the inmate. The prison keeps the originals in a secure box before destroying it if a grievance is not filed within 15 days. Confidentiality is violated when prison staff purposely or inadvertently to read some words on the documents to ensure you have copied all the material correctly.

For those reasons, Roper said, ACLU no longer sends mail to inmates, including letters explaining why the civil rights organization will not take up their case.

Leane Renee, assistant federal public defender for the U. The state policy she said violates attorney-client privilege. Inmates are only allowed minute phone calls and that is not conducive to conducting legal strategy, Renee said. The trial is expected to last at least a week. Jones has not set a time frame for when he will make a decision. Skip to content.

A federal judge hears arguments in an ACLU lawsuit challenging the legality of Pennsylvania's prison officials screening inmates' mail for synthetic drugs.

The system is working. Theron Perez, chief counsel, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Latest Pennsylvania News. Live Updates: Coronavirus in Pennsylvania. Susan Wild says Trump should change his mind and open special enrollment period for Obamacare. Pennsylvania coronavirus cases now at 26, Track them here.Legal and Special Correspondence Mail Limits.

Incoming legal or special correspondence shall be limited to 75 pages or less; Incoming legal or special correspondence over 75 pages shall be returned to sender with notice why the mail was returned. The inmate shall also be notified. If legal or special correspondence is more than 75 pages, then the sender must obtain an appropriate court order for it to be received by the prison and processed for the inmate.

Legal email service is free of charge to both the attorney and the recipient. YCP Mailroom clerks will open the emails and print in the presence of the inmate. Each inmate will sign for and be given a copy of a reciept indicating the sender and documents. Please email a copy of Bar card or G. GTL Tablets - Text messaging now available.

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The inmate will recieve a copy of the mail and the original will be destroyed. Do NOT send any checks, money orders, or cash as they will not be accepted.

pa doc inmate mail

The mailing address for standard mail is as follows:. Paperwork such as birth certificates and checks that need signed by inmates will NOT be taken into the secure facility under normal circumstances. A sally port clearance must be obtained 48 hours in advance and will only be granted under special circumstances such as time-sensitive insurance or payroll checks. Personal checks or money orders are not considered a special circumstance. You must provide your name, address, DOB, and state the reason for the request.

You will recieve a confirmation or denial by email. Please call for pre-approval and to schedule a drop-off time. Standard legal mail may be sent to Concord Rd. York, PA Legal and Special Correspondence Mail Limits Incoming legal or special correspondence shall be limited to 75 pages or less; Incoming legal or special correspondence over 75 pages shall be returned to sender with notice why the mail was returned.

Incoming periodicals and publications must adhere to the following criteria: All incoming books and magazines must be new and accompanied by a packing slip indicating such.Family and friends of inmates can use the ConnectNetwork. Friends and family can create and fund an AdvancePay prepaid telephone account, and create, send and receive e-messages very similar to email with inmates from the ConnectNetwork. The instructions below will walk through creating an account, using an account, and sending e-messages.

It is very important to use a valid email address, as you will receive a confirmation email at that address upon the completion of account creation. You will not be able to use the account without a valid email address that you own.

If you did not fill out all the information, or any of the information does not any of the mandatory requirements character length, inclusion of numbers, etc. Once the system accepts your entry, you will be taken to the Facility Selection page.

On the Facility Selection page, a two step process is required to locate your desired facility. The first step is to select the correct state the facility is located in. Once the state is selected, the second selection list will contain a list of all facilities serviced by ConnectNetwork. Please select the desired facility from this list.

pa doc inmate mail

It is very important that your first and last name match what is on your government issued ID drivers license, etc. Also, be sure that you remember your User ID and password, as this information is not included in any of your confirmation materials. You will now be taken to the confirmation page. It provides directions on the next steps to take. You will need to activate your account from the email you provided in step 4, in order to use your account.

pa doc inmate mail

To find it, first go to your inbox to look for the email. Once there, you can then log into the site using the User ID and password you created during the account setup process. If the link does not work for you, you can copy the full URL provided and paste it into the address bar of your browser and activate your account that way. Once your account is activated, you can simply visit www.

Sending an e-message. Canceling a message will not use any of your credits. If this feature is not available, your inmate will need to purchase the necessary credits to reply to your message. All Rights Reserved. Legal and Privacy. You will be redirected to ConnectNetwork in Deposit Funds Now!

How to use ConnectNetwork. To create your account, type www. All information must be accurately completed, including the acceptance of the Terms of Use before your account can be successfully created. Be sure to remember your User ID and password, as this information is not included in any of your confirmation materials and you will need it to log into the system every time you use it. Sending an e-message Description Click to Enlarge 1. To access your account, type www.

Prior to composing your message, you will need to select the correct correctional facility located in the selection box titled Facility. Type in the information you know you can use any of the available fields and it will create a list of matching inmates for you to select from.

Once you have added your contact, you will be given the option to return to your inbox OR proceed to purchase credits for your account.

You are now ready to add credits. Step 1 of the Credits purchasing process is to select the facility which the inmate is located in. In addition, you will select the amount of credits you wish to purchase during this transaction. Step 2 of the purchase process is to enter the necessary payment information into the web portal.Make CorrectionsOne your homepage.

A statewide lockdown started Wednesday is being used to train staff on how to handle suspected drugs. On Tuesday, officers found a Suboxone strip — a sometimes abused opioid withdrawal drug — on an inmate, while another inmate earlier in the week defecated a balloon filled with synthetic marijuana at Benner Township State Prison in Centre County.

Those are among 29 recent incidents of staff exposure to synthetic drugs documented on the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections website. The incidents prompted Gov.

All prisons are closed to visitors and mail service, except the delivery of legal papers, has been halted for 46, inmates.

Synthetic drugs are entering the prisons through the mail and the only way to stop it is to cut off delivery, said Jim Barnacle, director of special investigations and intelligence at the Corrections Department. The lockdown is being used to train staff on the need to wear protective gloves and masks, and on how to handle suspected drugs, he said, adding there is no timetable to lift the lockdown. The clerks were taken to a hospital for treatment and the building where they worked was closed.

The drugs — primarily K2, a synthetic form of marijuana — invading prisons are coming from communities dealing with the same problems. The synthetic drugs are being made in domestic labs and imported from Mexico and China, said Capt.

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The chemicals used to make the drugs are constantly changing to stay ahead of legal prohibitions, he added. K2, spice and other greenish lab-made cannabinoids look like natural marijuana. The THC compound in natural marijuana can cause poor muscle coordination, relaxation, delayed mental and physical reactions, and increased appetite, according to federal research. Natural marijuana without THC is used in Pennsylvania and other states as a clinically legal drug to treat certain ailments.

The synthetic stuff, however, can cause violent outbursts, delusions, anxiety, nausea and vomiting, paranoia and suicidal thoughts, among other affects, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

Barishansky warned police and first responders to take extra precautions, such as wearing gloves.

Pa. DOC: Drugs sickening staff, inmates are entering through mail

As Pennsylvania has made it harder to get opioids by capping and monitoring prescriptions, addicts are switching to synthetics, she said. She warned the public to call authorities for help if they suspect someone is showing symptoms of synthetic drug use.

More CorrectionsOne Articles. More Contraband News. More Product Listings. More Product news. More Contraband Videos. Make CorrectionsOne your homepage Open the tools menu in your browser. How to buy drone detection eBook. Responding to coronavirus in prisons and jails. The whens, whys and hows of force in a correctional setting. You need a plan for coronavirus in your facility.

Topics Contraband. Email Print Comment. DOC officials say the substance that has been sickening staff and inmates in prisons across the state has been entering through the mail.

And it is so potent its effects can transfer to someone who accidentally touches it. McClatchy-Tribune News Service. Video: Inmate uses smuggled cellphone to beg for help on Facebook Live. SC corrections officer charged with sending nude photos to inmate. How one Indiana jail stops contraband at the door. Loaded gun found inside Epstein jail during lockdown.You are now logged in. Forgot your password? As explained on its websitethe department implemented the new policy after staff members were reportedly sickened by an unknown substance, which prompted the announcement of a statewide lockdown in August.

Mail will first go through a Florida-based service called Smart Communications. The company will scan the mail and then send black and white digital copies to inmates. The original mail, including photographs, will then be held for 45 days and subsequently destroyed.

The electronic mail will only be saved for seven years. Mail related to legal matters and other official documents will be forwarded to the institutions, opened in front of the inmate, copied, and the originals will be destroyed after a day retention period.

Inmates will not be able to keep the originals. The department maintains that the process will help cut down on a the amount of drugs smuggled into state prisons, even documenting drug finds on various inmates. It's also a good business opportunity for private companies seeking to contract with prisons.

Smart Communications already provides limited email technology and a teleconferencing system to prisons, and now touts its mail system as completely eliminating postal mail.

But if cost is of little concern, perhaps privacy should be. The Pennsylvania chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project, and lawyers at private firms allege that the new system will threaten the confidentiality of sensitive legal documents. Prior to the new system, prison staff opened mail in front of prisoners, searched for contraband, and then handed the documents over.

Now, the added steps of photocopying documents and retaining the originals for an amount of time have the possibility to impact cases. Some lawyers have already complained about legal documents sitting on desks and being thrown in the trash.

Some have even voiced concerns that the documents could end up in the hands of a legal opponent or prison staffers who named in an inmate's case.

pa doc inmate mail

To no one's surprise, the service has already been criticized for giving inmates copies that are either unreadable or incomplete. Inmates have also voiced their own privacy concerns as even more strangers will now have intimate access to their personal lives. Per the department's own findsdrugs like synthetic cannabinoids K2suboxone, and tobacco were found on 15 inmates between September 28 and October 3.

If the rate of drug finds were to remain consistent each week over the course of a year, it would appear that the state of Pennsylvania has decided to implement a multi-million dollar service that affects the privacy of over 50, inmates due to the actions of less than one percent of the state prison population. Josh Blackman 4. Ciaramella 4. Billy Binion 4. Ronald Bailey 4.

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Robby Soave 4. The governor's new stay-at-home order is arbitrary and far too strict. Media Criticism.


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