THIS INFORMATION WAS OBTAINED FROM
THE MARYLAND DOC WEBSITE.
Mail is correspondence, written materials, or publications. This includes, but is not limited to, letters, books, newspapers, magazines and other publications, addressed to or from an inmate.
These items may be leaving or entering a Division facility via the U.S. Postal Service, or via a recognized courier system. This definition includes written communication between inmates within an institution. Only inmates who are immediate family, or co-defendants in an active legal action, may correspond.
Correspondence between inmates is subject to inspection by staff at the sending and receiving institutions. All correspondence between inmates must be sent via U.S. Postal Service.
Legal Mail is identified on the envelope as from a court, judge, clerk of court, attorney-at-law, the American Civil Liberties Union, PRISM, Inc., Legal Aid Bureau, Commissioner of Correction, the Governor, Attorney General, Member of Congress, Maryland General Assembly, the Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Inmate Grievance Office, or Office of Administrative Hearings, when received on official stationery of the aforementioned persons or agencies.
It is also mail addressed from an inmate to any of the above persons or agencies. Legal mail may be opened and inspected only in front of the inmate to whom it is addressed.
Incoming Mail must bear the inmate’s name and Division identification number. It will be opened before delivery to the inmate and inspected only for money orders, cash, stamps, checks and contraband. Inmate mail will not be further reviewed unless there is evidence that it contains material that:
1. is contraband;
2. describes escape plans, devices or paraphernalia;
3. describes construction or use of weapons, ammunition, bombs, incendiary devices or other means of inflicting bodily harm;
4. describes procedures for brewing alcoholic beverages or the manufacture of drugs;
5. is in code;
6. is sexually explicit as stated in mail directives;
7. describes theory, design, or manufacture of prison security systems or equipment, including prison communication systems or equipment;
8. instructs in the commission of violation of Division directives that will produce a breach of security or order in the prison;
9. advocates or instructs the formation of inmate unions;
10. poses a direct and immediate danger of violence or physical harm to person(s) based upon current circumstances within the institution.
Outgoing mail may be sealed with the inmate’s name, identification number, and name and return address of the institution on the envelope. Postage must be on the envelope, unless the inmate is indigent.
If an inmate has less than $4.00 in his/her active account for 30 days, he/she may be
indigent. Indigent inmates can request postage and writing materials for seven letters each week.
Indigent inmates may ask their case management specialists for additional postage and writing materials for legal mail. If the inmate has funds, his/her case management specialist can tell him/her how to use money from his/her account with his/her letter.
Outgoing mail will be stamped to show that the mail is being sent by an inmate from a correctional institution and the date the mail was
processed in the prison.
Withholding Mail. Incoming and outgoing mail, except packages, will not be held more than 24 hours, except on weekends and holidays, in unusual circumstances, or where it is shown that the mail contains materials described above. If mail is withheld, the inmate and the person who sent the mail to the inmate shall be afforded the following elements of due process:
1. The inmate will be notified that mail is being withheld 48 hours after the decision to
withhold his/her mail. The notice will tell the inmate the reason the mail is withheld.
2. The person who sent the inmate the mail that is being withheld will receive written notice of the decision to withhold the mail and the reason for that decision.
3. The inmate and the person who sent the mail will be told how to appeal the decision to withhold the mail.