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Inmate Information

Inmate Correspondance

Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office
Corrections Division
Standard Operating Procedure

Number: 5.4.1. Title: Mail
Effective Date: April 10, 2015
History: February 14, 2003
Reference: Inmate Correspondence


I. Purpose
a. To describe the procedures that will be used by the Sullivan County Correctional
Facility to process inmate correspondence and packages.

II. Policy
a. It is the policy of the Sullivan County Correctional Facility to permit inmates to
correspond with family, friends, officials, and others with a minimum of interference, consistent with the safety and security needs of the facility. It is essential to morale, maintenance of family ties and legal rights of the inmates that communication by mail with family, friends, and others be unrestricted, except as provided by law.

III. General Procedures
a. Inmates may receive correspondence Monday thru Friday. Pictures will be
accepted quarterly.
b. The paper cannot be discolored in any way.
c. Envelopes will not be given to the inmate. The name of the inmate and cell number will be written on the letter.
d. No packages will be picked up at the post office for inmates unless approved by the Major or Captain.
e. All mail, outgoing and incoming, except legal mail, will be subject to being read for safety and security purposes such as to deter plans of escape, plans to smuggle in contraband, and to deter prisoner to prisoner correspondence not approved.
f. Incoming mail will be inspected prior to delivery to an inmate.
g. Mail received from the courts, attorney of record or public officials will be opened in the presence of the inmate.
h. If contraband is found in the mail an incident report will be completed and turned in to the Captain along with the contraband. If the contraband is of a criminal nature and charges will be filed it will be disposed of as in General Orders 141.03.
I. Inmates in this facility will be forbidden to correspond with other inmates in this or other facilities unless it is immediate family (mother, father, natural or adopted child, sister, brother, husband, or wife) and must be approved by the Administrative Clerk. This regulation is based on a safety and security interest which would make it more difficult for inmates to communicate escape plans, to arrange assaults to coordinate gang activity, and to arrange contraband being smuggled in the facility.

IV. Incoming Mail Rejection.
Incoming mail, softback books, magazines, periodicals, journals may be rejected on the basis of a court order, if it poses a threat to safety or security of the jail, or contains any of the following information, material or characteristics:
a. Information regarding the manufacture of explosives, weapons, or drugs.
b. Content intended to encourage or assist in disrupting the orderly operation of the Jail, such as through a criminal act, riot, work stoppage, or other breech of jail rules.
c. Material that would encourage deviant sexual behavior. d. Defaced or altered letters.
e. Plastics or other types of wrapping or covering.
f. Marked with paint, crayons, or marker.
g. Any type of label or sticker.
h. Watermarks, stains, or discoloration.
i. Biohazards, perfumes, lipstick or similar material.
j. Depiction of nudity, weapons, or gang references.

V. Mail Collection, Delivery and Outgoing Mail
a. The officer distributing the mail will personally hand the mail to the inmate the mail is addressed to. The mail will not be given to any other inmate and will not be put in the bars for the inmate to pick up.
b. Inmates who have been declared indigent will receive postage for two (2) free personal letters per week. The facility shall also provide postage for all legal or official mail.
c. All outgoing mail will have the inmate’s name and a return address.
d. Outgoing mail will be collected daily, except weekends and holidays, during regular business hours. Incoming mail will be picked up daily except weekends, opened, inspected and delivered to the inmate in a timely manner.
e. All outgoing mail will be left unsealed by the inmate.

The officer will check the outgoing mail for contraband and review for safety and security pursuant to Section IV above. After the officer checks the outgoing mail for contraband it will then be sealed. If outgoing mail is sealed when collected it will be returned to the inmate not mailed.
f. All outgoing legal mail will be searched and then sealed in the presence of the inmate.
g. All outgoing mail will be stamped at each post and sorted by size of envelope for the officer to pick up the following morning. This stamp informs the receiver that the letter originated from an inmate at the Sullivan County Correctional Facility.
h. All inmate outgoing mail returned by the mail carrier to the Sullivan County Correctional Facility will be treated as incoming mail.

VI. Books, periodicals, journals, newspapers.
a. Softback books, magazines/periodicals/journals. Inmates may receive up to two
(2) softback books and up to three (3) magazines/periodicals/journals (total of three for all magazines, periodicals and journals) through the mail per calendar month subject to the following conditions: softback books, magazines, periodicals, and journals must be addressed specifically to the inmate and must show a return address from the publisher, a book club or a commercial distributor. These quantities cannot be reversed or grouped together.

b. Hardback books. Due to safety and security measures, inmates may not receive hard back books through the mail.
c. Newspapers. Due to safety and security measures, inmates may not receive newspapers through the mail.

VII. Appeal.
a. Appeal of rejection of incoming mail including softback books, magazines,
periodicals and journals.
i. The inmate and author/sender will be notified if incoming mail is rejected. ii. The inmate and the author/sender will be notified of their right to appeal the rejection and will be given ten (10) working days (two weeks) from the date of delivery of notice to the inmate to appeal this rejection by filing a grievance with the Jail Administration Sergeant. The Jail Administration Sergeant should not be the person who originally rejected the mail as he/she does not normally inspect mail as part of his/her job responsibilities; however, if the Jail Administrative Sergeant originally rejected the mail, then the grievance shall be filed with the Jail Administrative Lieutenant. If after ten (10) days no grievance is filed the letter will be returned to the author/sender.
iii. If the inmate is no longer in our custody the officer will mark out our address, mark “not at this address” and stamp “return to sender” and place back in the mail.
b. Appeal of rejection of outgoing mail.
i. The inmate will be notified if any mail is rejected and be given an opportunity to correct the problem.
ii. The inmate will be notified of his/her right to appeal the rejection and will be given ten (10) working days from date of notice to appeal this rejection by filing a grievance with the Jail Administration Sergeant. The Jail Administration Sergeant should not be the person who originally rejected the mail as he/she does not normally inspect mail as part of his/her job responsibilities; however, if the Jail Administrative Sergeant originally rejected the mail, then the grievance shall be filed with the Jail Administrative Lieutenant. If after ten (10) days no grievance is filed the letter will be returned to the inmate unless it is in violation of this policy in which case it will be destroyed or, upon request of the inmate, kept in storage by the jail with the inmate’s personal belongings to be delivered to the inmate or transferred to other custodians upon release from custody.
iii. If the inmate is no longer in jail custody the mail will be placed in storage for 30 days after which it will be destroyed.

Inmate Visitation

Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office
Corrections Division
Standard Operating Procedure

Number: 5.4.4
Title: Inmate Visitation
Effective Date: June 22, 2016
History: November 19, 2007
Reference: Inmate Visitation


I. Purpose
To describe the visitation program that will be used at the Sullivan County Correctional Facility.

II. Policy
It is the policy of the Sullivan County Correctional Facility to enable and encourage inmates to maintain relationships with family members and friends through regular visits. Restrictions on visits are for the limited purposes of using facility staff judiciously and maintaining the security and order of the facility. There will be no contact visits allowed in the Sullivan County Correctional Facility without approval from the Facility Major. The Sheriff retains the right to waive any or all parts of this policy.

III. Procedures
A. Each inmate is permitted two (2) 30 minute visitation period per week on site and unlimited visitation off site.
B. Inmates may have visitors on indicated days and times.
C. Families (including children) may go to the web site and sign up for a visit in-house at no-charge. If the family wishes to visit from home there will be a fee.
D. Visitors must register or sign up at the Visitation Monitor 24 hours in advance before a visit can occur. This give the inmate the time to deny the visit if he/she want to visit. Plus at the time of the visit the facility can deny them because of any violations that are posted for the visitors.
E. Officials and Attorneys-Upon presentation of valid identification, judges of court within the county, probation officers, members of the Grand Jury, the District Attorney or his staff, the TBI, FBI, agency personnel and the attorney on record will be allowed to visit with an inmate at any reasonable time during daytime and evening hours. Any other agencies must have approval by the shift supervisor.
F. Visits by Clergy-Upon presentation of appropriate identification, approved members of the clergy may visit an inmate between the hours of 9am and 5pm Monday thru Friday. These will be non-contact visits. No visit will be longer the thirty- (30) minutes.
G. The shift supervisor may approve a special visit if an event of personal significance has occurred for the inmate (e.g., death of a spouse, sibling, or parent) and the visit may help to reduce the ill effects of the event on the inmate.
H. Bondsmen-Bondsmen will not be allowed to come to the booking office for the purpose of interviewing or bonding out an inmate. They can visit the inmate through the glass visitations galley.


Sullivan County Sheriff
P.O. Box 589
Blountville, TN 37617
(423) 279-7500

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