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Author Topic: What is Considered Contraband in Mail?  (Read 102444 times)

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Offline Dazzler

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What is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« on: September 25, 2007, 07:28:19 PM »
 A question has arisen from one of our members about mailing certain items to an inmate in the IDOC.  I'd like to start this topic so others might know what is and isn't acceptable.

Do not send any webpages from the IDOC website.  No pictures or information about yours or any other inmates.

Do not send maps of anything.

Do not send photographs of any prisons.  No drawings or satellite images either.  They will be considered plans of escape.  

Do not send any human hair.

Do not send tobacco, candy or gum.

Do not send cash.

Do not send writing paper, envelopes or stamps...even pre-stamped envelopes are no longer allowed anywhere.  You may however send just a few lines on a piece of paper so the inmate can re-use the paper with his own letter.

Do not send any letters or envelopes that have anything spilled on them.

Do not use stickers on letters or envelopes.

Do not use glitter inside or outside of the envelope.  You may however draw 'toons, cute sayings, etc. on the envelope.  

Do not use perfume on your letters.

Do not use the word 'escape', breakout or other words that are buzz words to get your mail censored.

Do not pass letters from other inmates.

Do not send money to any other inmate in your inmate's institution.  It's considered 'trafficking' and he'll receive SEG time.

Do not send any XXX magazines that show penetration of any kind...human or otherwise, i.e. toys, etc.  XXX mags are allowed but they must have these types of photos removed first.

Do not send nude photos of yourself....suggestive is okay.   Magazine nude photos are okay...just not real photographs.

Do not send books about crimes committed by anyone who is in custody of the IDOC.  If they've already died, as Richard Speck, John Wayne Gacy, etc...that's acceptable.  All books and magazines are subject to review by the prison's book reviewer and anything subversive is usually rejected, i.e. negative books about the government, white power, etc.

Do not refer to any gangs in your letters, gang activity or gang lingo.  It's a sure way to get your inmate a trip to Internal Affairs.

Do not write parts of a letter in a foreign language.

You may send non-spiral calendars.

You may send paperback and most hard-covered books.  Some facilities do not allow hard-covered books.  Check first.

You may order newspaper or magazine subscriptions from the publishers and have them mailed direct to your inmate.

You may send catalogs to the inmate.

You may send crossword puzzle books, search-a-word puzzle books, etc.

You may order cassette music from IDOC approved suppliers and have it sent directly to the inmate.

You may bring five books/mags/newspapers to each visit.  You'll have to fill out a publications forms with the titles and authors, inmate name and number and after review they will be distributed to your inmate.  This cuts down on postage fees for those that visit.

You may use swear words in your letters and you may send very graphic love letters.  They aren't read for the content...just checked for contraband and scanned for the word 'escape'.






If others have more to add please do so.
~ "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." ~ US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

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Offline gettingby

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Re: What Is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2007, 08:05:33 PM »
Thanks Dazzler, let me just add Bootcamp rules are different.  No books, magazines, calenders.  Actually, the only thing you can send are cards and letters.  Your inmate can only keep 10 letters and 3 photos, then they have to throw the others away.  Any more is considered contraban and they will be punished.  Please follow what Dazzler wrote about what is and isn't acceptable when you send your letters.
Don't repay kindness, pass it on.

Offline Dazzler

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Re: What Is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2007, 08:11:24 PM »
Thanks gettingby, yes there are different restrictions for the bootcamps but most of the same rules apply for contraband.
~ "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." ~ US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

~ "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Still love my son

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Re: What Is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2007, 09:11:55 PM »

Taylorville-DOES NOT ALLOW HARD BACK BOOKS-Only softback
Son came with some books from another facility and had to return them home as OUT PROPERTY could have been given a ticket for contraband.

I took a catalog from "Eastbay", It Is a sporting goods catalog, Tennis shoes etc, It was in my locker when I left DENIED,
"CATALOGS NOT ALLOWED"
My two cents to the cause!!!!

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Offline blsgrl1231

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Re: What Is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2007, 09:34:12 PM »
I've sent a few letters with a little food spilled on them and there was no problem. Plus, all my letters were sprayed with perfume and there was never a problem with those either. These particular letters have only gone to Vienna CC, so no problems with those things there.

blsgrl

Offline ielene

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Re: What Is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2007, 09:53:49 PM »
I broke one of those rules and hope my son is not sent to SEG over it. I send his cell mate money so they can stock up on food so in the event of a lockdown they had plenty of food. So far nothing has been said but I don't think I will be doing that one again.
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Offline Dazzler

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Re: What Is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2007, 09:56:59 PM »
Usually it's not an issue but it can be made an issue if the prison so desires.  If you want to send money to another inmate or cell mate you can always send it from someone else's name on the money order.  And of course, send them in separate envelopes. 
~ "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." ~ US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

~ "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Still love my son

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Re: What Is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2007, 10:47:24 PM »


Gotcha Daz---Been put up to the OTHER PERSONS NAME BE 4          *(%$#

Offline Schrader42

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Re: What Is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2007, 03:09:59 AM »
I'd like to add that large, very large cards aren't permitted in some facilities.  I sent one to my husband and he was told that he has to return it home after he sees it.

Offline jewels

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Re: What Is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2007, 03:46:36 AM »
You can't send Hardback books to Tamms, unless you accept that it takes longer as they contact the inmate and ask that they tear the cover off.

Offline JForce

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Re: What Is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2007, 06:00:32 AM »
Does anyone know if you can you send newspaper clippings?  Just local stuff, nothing to do with crime/punishment?

JForce

Offline jewels

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Re: What Is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2007, 06:24:15 AM »
Yes, we do all the time. Never had a problem with them as yet.

Offline Forevermah

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Re: What Is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2007, 06:45:00 AM »
I brought in a Bass Pro Fishing Catalog and they denied it at the front desk. Said it contained pictures of weapons, so I removed all those pictures of the knives, guns, etc. and sent it back in and he got it.   At some facilities, I guess catalogs are OK.  This was at Jacksonville.  I tried sending him a soft bound journal, they denied that, nothing with blank pages.   

I sent him alot of news articles printed online, but I always cut anything off that concerend the www. address and he always got those too. Also JForce I did send him  news articles taken from the paper and those were allowed.  Just be careful of the content.
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Offline jewels

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Re: What Is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2007, 07:51:24 AM »
Yes, like books Mah, nothing suggesting violence to them , like karate, judo, kick boxing etc etc, no titles of books with what they would call, nasty titles.

Offline Sister

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Re: What Is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2007, 12:20:06 PM »
What about pages printed from the Internet?  I have sent them before, and he got them, but lately I have put them in WORD format so they don't look printed from the Internet. 

I have heard that some institutions do not allow them.
If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself.  You are not that important. Galations 6:2

Offline Dazzler

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Re: What Is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2007, 12:25:15 PM »
Most institutions allow printings from the internet...of course, I have to add 'most' to everything, as there seems to be exceptions to every single IDOC rule.

If you're worried about it, cut off the identlfying web address from the top of the page, or use a marker to delete it.  Of course, this doesn't apply to instructions for building a bomb or other outrageous printings...LOL.  You must use common sense.
~ "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." ~ US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

~ "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Sister

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Re: What Is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2007, 12:48:26 PM »
Is it okay to talk about another inmate when writing to your inmate, as long as you don't specify names and such, that were friends in an institution, but now one is gone to another prison?
If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself.  You are not that important. Galations 6:2

Offline Dazzler

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Re: What Is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2007, 12:53:50 PM »
Yes, I never had a problem.  His friends would write to me and I'd keep him posted where they were, or when they were being released...just chit chat.  Sometimes they would send a message to him and I'd write it to him....the difference is, don't send actual letters from another inmate.  I was surprised a few times when his friends on the inside would write a note to me and he'd include it with his own letter and it was always sent.  Usually just a thank you note for a book or magazine they requested but it was allowed.
~ "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." ~ US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

~ "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Offline gettingby

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Re: What Is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2007, 07:31:34 PM »
While my son was at Stateville, I have sent him several topics printed from Wikipeda off the internet.  He received those with no problem. I wasn't sure how it counted toward the 5 books/magazine rules, so I would just send a few with each package of magazines i sent him.  He was also able to receive them at prebootcamp. I also sent him several newspaper clippings, no problem with that either.
Don't repay kindness, pass it on.

Offline jewels

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Re: What Is Considered Contraband in Mail?
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2007, 07:12:38 AM »
The exception of mentioning other inmates in your letters is again, at Tamms. If that happens the inmate can get up to 2 years in segregation there, as if being in such a prison was not enough!  They are red hot there on anything that could possibly mean you are passing messages to gangs.