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I haven't heard back from my pen pal in some time.  The last time I wrote I had used a word that might be interpreted as offensive so crossed it out as much as I could.  I did this with the same pen that I used to write the letter, but now I'm wondering if might be seen as contraband.  If it were would the officals toss the letter, and if they did would they alert me?  Thanks


Hey kruise, don’t sweat it. My buds and I swear like sailors sometimes. The only words that wig-out the authorities are those describing escape plans, drug deals, extortion, and weapons manufacturing. Stay away from those and you’ll be fine.

Contraband is physical stuff, so, if you refrain from sending power tools, explosives, and so on, you’ll be fine there too :-) Oh, and drugs. That’s the claimed reason most places copy incoming mail and destroy the originals – since chemically-tainted paper has been used to introduce drugs via the mail. Whether Oregon does that, I have no idea, but many places do these days.

If your letter was rejected for whatever reason, you’d get it back in the mail, usually with a memo explaining why. They typically notify the recipient as well. Simply tossing letters isn’t supposed to happen, but my buds and I have had mail go missing from time to time. It’s pretty rare though.

Best wishes