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County Jails to limit inmate personal mail to postcards only. (That’s More than 140 Twitter Characters, but ….)


Lots of information and links in this OregonLive article:

Jails to limit inmate mail to postcards only, by Bill Oram, The Oregonian, December 29, 2009

Excerpt: ‘… “The quality of the letters are so touching because they’re looking to establish relationships with anyone who will listen to them,” said Boghosian, the executive director of the New York-based National Lawyer’s Guild, which publishes the Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook.

Boghosian, and other civil rights advocates, are concerned about a policy that 12 Oregon counties, including Washington and Clackamas, will implement next month restricting inmates’ outgoing social mail to postcards. By spring, incoming mail will also be limited to postcards.

Washington and Clackamas county officials paint the move to envelope-free mail as a cost-cutting measure that will make jail operations more efficient. Incoming mail will not have to be opened, and postcards will make it more difficult for contraband to be smuggled into the jail, Washington County Jail Cmdr. Marie Tyler said.

Inmates will be able to buy each 5-by-8-and-a-half-inch postcard, with postage included, for 55 cents. The rule will only apply to personal mail. Official correspondence, such as letters to and from lawyers and job information, can still be sent in envelopes….(link to full article)

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4 responses to “County Jails to limit inmate personal mail to postcards only. (That’s More than 140 Twitter Characters, but ….)”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Who are you trying to kid? You know the real reason is to further torment inmates so they will hate the DOC just as planned. Any attempt to lower recidivism must be abolished because it threatens the union strength. The more victims we have in society the more inmates the DOC has and with that comes money and power. The welfare of citizens is always last. This I learned from a Deputy Worden. Drop the name Correction and change your Mission Statement to be truthful.

  2. Sam says:

    Very unfortunate. Research shows that the recidivism rate correlates in part to the intactness of the family. With high phone rates, and now the loss of letters, why would we further decrease the opportunity of families to communicate?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hello Laura,
    First, I am from Bloomington! I have asked a question on your traffic court blog, and hope to get it answered soon. You can contact me at as I would love to talk to you more about our Hoosier roots!
    As far as the above article, everyone lawyer and DOC official should get an “opportunity” to be in a county corrections facility for a week, just so they can see it from the other side. There is absolutely no “corrections” in the system, but rather it is populated by at least half of a group of people who enjoy their empowerment over others, and use it to their pleasure and personal enhancement. They are as sick as some of the people they incarcerate. The other half are men and women doing their job in an uphill losing battle. The entire system, and the privatization thereof, is completely out of control. They create more dangerous criminals then they correct, to their benefit I might add.

  4. Hi writestuffpdx:

    My Hoosier connections are not so much roots as they are branches (LOL!). I loved Bloomington, but who didn't and doesn't. As for perspective, I was there when “Breaking Away” was being filmed (yikes!).

    I agree that everyone needs to see what it is like on the other side of corrections (and I worked in a jail for 3 years so have some small idea).

    But I also agree that people should work in a lot of places, e.g. in a classroom with 35 teenagers or 8 year-olds or in a toll-booth or on a small business's retail service desk or in a busy public library or in a government agency budget office or staffing the telephone for a legislator or …. I could go on!

    The best, smartest, wisest and most grounded people I know have a lot of living and job experience. If you can survive all those with a sense of humor and perspective, life won't be easier, but you will be able to cope better with all that is out to make us crazy.

    Enough of my rant. Good luck with answering your traffic ticket question. I did post a reply, but you need someone with real expertise in such matters.


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