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GENERAL ORDER              



  I.   Scope and Purpose: The purpose of this General Order (GO) is to establish guidelines for all Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Detention
        Services Division (FCSO DSD) staff on allowing
        inmates to maintain communication with family and friends, to be aware of current events, and to facilitate and maintain access to the
        courts and media.
II.    Discussion: There will be no limitation on mail or a list of correspondents. Correspondence between inmates and their friends and
        family is encouraged; however, public safety and facility security are of primary concern.

III.  Policy:It is the policy of the DSD to process both incoming and outgoing mail in an expedient manner. 

IV.  Forms:

  • Refused Mail NotificationFCSO Form # DSD 076

V.  Definitions:

     A.  Privileged/Legal Mail: Described as a correspondence that is sent to or from a court, attorney, government official or agency, or news
           media. Non-Privileged: describes all other correspondences.
     B.  General Mail: Communication to or from inmates through letters, postcards and privileged/legal mail. To be considered mail, the letter,
           postcards or privileged/legal mail, must be delivered through a legitimate mail carrier.
     C.  Postcard: Means a stiff piece of paper (normally cardstock) that complies with the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) requirements for a
           postcard, including those for size, shape and thickness.

     D.  Indigent Inmates: An inmate who has less than $1.00 in their account shall be considered indigent.
     E.  Contraband: Any item prohibited by agency or departmental directives and/or Florida State Statute.

   Envelope Correspondence: A correspondence enclosed in an envelope. The correspondence may consist of a letter, paperwork,

   newspaper clipping, photograph, drawing, or a combination of one or more of these items.


     F.  Non-Privileged Correspondence: Means the sender or recipient of non-privilege correspondence is a person with whom the
          inmate would exchange messages of a personal or business nature, like a friend, family member, or a landlord.
    G.  Writing material: Means postage paid pre-metered envelopes, postcards, blank paper and postage. Postage will be in the
          form of pre-metered envelopes. 

 VI.  Procedures: 

  A.  Inmate Mail: 

  1. Content and Volume: 
a.  The DSD will not censor or restrict the number of postcards or envelope correspondence an inmate can send or receive,
     or the length, language, content, recipient or source of such postcards or envelope correspondence that has sufficient
     postage, except where the restriction is necessary or essential to preserve internal order and discipline, maintain
     institutional security against escape or unauthorized entry, or rehabilitate the sentenced inmates or prevent the sending of:
    1. Threats of physical harm against persons or threats of criminal activity.
    2. Threats of blackmail or extortion.
    3. Plans for escape.
    4. Codes
    5. Plans for activities in violation of facility rules.
    6. Information, which if communicated, would create a clear and present danger of violence and physical harm to a

                    human being. There will be no list of authorized correspondents. [FCAC 12.08]

      b.  Authorized items received via USPS or private delivery service will be delivered to the inmate and unauthorized items
          will be placed in inmate property or returned to sender. The inmate will receive notification as to the denied item(s) and
          the reason for denial. [FCAC 12.03]  Authorized items include, but are not limited to, letters, paperwork, newspaper
          clippings, photographs, drawings, or a combination of one or more of these items, so long as they are not otherwise prohibited
          by this policy/order.

       c.  Sexually explicit photographs, magazines and/or illustrations are unauthorized.

       d.  All packages, except for magazines, newspapers, and bibles which are received directly from the publisher, will be returned
           to the sender if minimal return postage is required. If postage is cost prohibitive the package may be placed in the inmate’s
           personal property. The inmate will be notified by written receipt of all packages being returned or placed in personal property.
           Packages without a return address will be returned to USPS or private delivery service. Inmates may be contacted in an effort
           to obtain a return address.
      e.  Items contained in incoming letters that are deemed “unauthorized” will be placed in the inmate’s property or returned to sender.
          Unauthorized items include, but are not limited to:
    1. Polaroid type photographs.
    2. In excess of twenty (20) authorized photos.
    3. Loose postal stamps.
    4. In excess of two metered envelopes.
    5. Cash
    6. Used and hard-bound books.

      2.  Correspondence Materials / Postage Allowance: 

    1. The indigent status of an inmate will be based upon the status of the inmate’s account for the seven (7) day period prior to the issuance of indigent packages. If an inmate is determined to be indigent, he/she will receive the indigent packet at the time of the next issuance of the packets. Packets can be ordered weekly through commissary. Indigent inmates having one dollar or less in their account for seven (7) consecutive days will receive an indigent packet consisting of (2) postcards, (1) envelope, and (2) sheets of paper. Appropriate postage will be attached when mail items are presented by inmates to be “mailed out”. Indigent status will be verified and a record shall be kept of indigent packages provided to inmates. [FCAC 12.07].
    2. Indigent inmates may receive, upon request a “legal” indigent package consisting of (2) envelopes stamped “privileged” in order to ensure that they are used for that purpose and (4) sheets of paper. 
      1. These packets will be delivered at the next scheduled date for indigent packets, not to exceed two weeks absent an act of nature or a declared state of emergency. If an inmate requests writing materials to send urgent privileged envelope correspondence before the next regular indigent package distribution, the inmate will receive a response to the special request within three (3) days. [FCAC 12.07]
c.  Indigent inmates deemed by the courts as “pro se” (acting as their own attorney) will be provided paper, postage and envelopes as
     needed for legal communications. Due to time sensitive court pleadings, motions, etc., requested items shall be delivered within
     48 hours excluding weekends and holidays.
d.  Inmates may receive, from an outside source, blank writing materials, to include, an unlimited amount of “metered” postcards,
     (2) metered envelopes and (4) sheets of paper per incoming correspondence. All inmates will be allowed a maximum of (10)
     metered envelopes in their possession. All envelopes in excess of 10 will be considered contraband and will be confiscated
     and placed in the inmate’s personal property. This is to discourage metered envelopes from being hoarded and used as bartering
     or gambling items.
e.  Non-indigent inmates will be allowed to purchase an unlimited amount of postcards from the facility commissary. Non-indigent
     inmates may purchase from the facility commissary, an unlimited amount of envelopes stamped “privileged” to be used for the
     purpose of privileged or legal correspondence.
f.  Postcards will be of light-colored card stock of dimensions consistent with the postcards accepted by the USPS. Envelopes will
    be No. 10 sized and of any color. Paper/pads will be light-colored, measuring at least 7.25” wide by at least 10.5” tall. 

      3.  Publications:

  1. Magazines, books and newspapers are permitted only when received directly from the publisher via the USPS or a private delivery service. Publications prohibited include but are not limited to those which: 
    1. Explain the construction of weapons, explosives, or other items that are likely to be used as weapons.
    2. Are locksmith manuals.
    3. Explain the construction of electronic devices intended to aid in escapes or disruption of discipline.
    4. Advocate or provide instructions in methods of escape.
    5. Advocate riot.
    6. Jeopardize the security or safety of inmates, staff, or the general public.
    7. Have hardback covers.
    8. Are sexually explicit.

B.  Processing Inmate Mail:

       1. Incoming mail:

    1. The mail is delivered by the USPS daily, excluding weekends and holidays.
    2. All incoming mail will be researched to determine the location of the inmate via the jail management system. Inmates no longer incarcerated will have their correspondence marked “return to sender” and returned to the post office on the next business day.
    3. Inmates may receive non-privileged envelope correspondence that is mailed from friends, family, and other non-privileged correspondent. These will include cards, photographs, full-page drawings, newspaper and magazine clippings, writing materials, photocopied material and pages printed from an internet webpage.
    4. Inmates are allowed to receive non-privileged envelope correspondences regardless of the postage rate paid (e.g. bulk rate) by the sender.
    5. Any affixed stamps or label, including postage stamps, stickers and return address label will be removed, detached or torn off. Inmate and sender shall be notified of this removal, and will be provided the address of the sender by writing it on the envelope or photocopying the envelope with the address labels, or other similar means.
    6. When a piece of mail sent to or from an inmate is against the above policies herein stated, a “Notice of Refused Mail” will be completed and sent to both inmate and sender, indicating the reason/s for refusal. Sender and inmate (if not the sender) will be provided with an opportunity to appeal this refusal. 

      2.  Inter-jail and Intra-jail Mail:

    1. Correspondence is not permitted between inmates confined in the same facility or with inmates at other county, state or federal facilities unless approval is received prior from the receiving facility and the DSSD. 

      3.  Mail Delivery:

    1. Delivery of incoming or outgoing mail will be handled without delay and received only through the facility and not through any visiting outside source.
    2. Outgoing mail will be forwarded to the Housing Unit Deputy (HUD). It will then be scanned, marked with a stamp that identifies the correspondence as having originated from the DSD.
    3. Outgoing mail will be taken to a designated, common area, within the Sheriff’s office, for delivery to the USPS. Incoming mail will be delivered by the HUD on the date it is received, barring any security issues. [FCAC 12.06]
    4. Inmates will not be allowed to deliver mail to other inmates.
    5. Inmate mail shall not be withheld for disciplinary reasons. 

      4.  Inspection of Contents:

    1. Incoming mail may be opened to intercept cash, checks, money orders or contraband. Mail containing cash will be returned to sender. If contraband is found, the letter will be placed in the inmate’s personal property, returned to sender or retained as evidence for possible prosecution, as deemed appropriate. In any case, a receipt will be issued to the respective inmate.
    2. Money orders received through incoming mail will be forwarded to commissary staff for deposit into the inmates account on the date it is received. 

C.  Outgoing Mail: 

  1. Outgoing mail will be in the form of an envelope or postcard.
  2. Detention staff will scan each piece of mail for: 
    1. Threats of physical harm against persons or threats of criminal activity.
    2. Threats of blackmail or extortion.
    3. Plans for escape.
    4. Plans for activities in violation of facility rules.
    5. Information, which if communicated, would create a clear and present danger of violence and physical harm to a human being. 
3.  All outgoing mail will be collected throughout the day by the HUD. It will then be given to the control room and then turned into
     reception to be mailed out.
4.  Every evening, the detention staff will read/scan the outgoing mail. Legal or privileged mail will be verified as to validity and only
     opened in the presence of the sending inmate. 
    1. If mail is found to be in violation of DSD policy it may be returned to the inmate for correction, if applicable, or confiscated and a disciplinary report prepared. Serious violations, such as a letter that contains plans of escape or plans of harm to another must be reported by the detention staff to the on-duty Commander or designee immediately. 
5.  Upon completion of the scanning of mail and verification of the validity of legal mail, each postcard and envelope is to be
     stamped on the back with a stamp that denotes the origin of the correspondence as the DSD. The inmates first and last name
     must be on the correspondence.
6.  Detention staff will take the processed outgoing mail to a common deposit box, located within the Sheriff’s Office for delivery
     to the USPS.

7.  At no time will the mail or contents thereof, of one inmate be discussed with another.

8.  Things to remember:

    1. Return address must be complete with inmates name and jail address.
    2. No drawing or unnecessary marking is to be on the front of any mail.
    3. Mail will not go out that is obviously meant for the recipient to send back to the facility for another inmate. 

D.  Privileged/ Legal Mail:

  1. Privileged or legal mail are correspondences delivered to or received from, via the U.S. postal service, a private delivery service, or hand delivered from the following class of persons and/or organizations:
    1. Courts
    2. Legal counsel.
    3. Public officials.
    4. Government agencies.
    5. News media.

E.  Delivery:

  1. Incoming privileged mail will be opened only if there is a reasonable suspicion of a prohibited act as specified in FMJS, and inspected only in the presence of the inmate to whom the mail is addressed. Only the signature and letterhead may be read.   [FCAC 12.04]
  2. Outgoing privileged mail will not be opened, but it may be held for a reasonable time not to exceed 72 hours pending verification that it is properly addressed to a person or agency referred to above.  The deputy in charge may authorize inspection of mail for contraband, prior to it being sealed, in the presence of the inmate. Should a need for this delay arise, an incident report will be written detailing the circumstances. [FCAC 12.05]
  3. Outgoing and incoming mail shall be treated as privileged mail only if clearly marked with the name and official status of the sender or recipient and is qualified as privileged mail by definition.







Refused Inmate Mail Notification

Inmate’s Name :
Block: Date:


Incoming/Outgoing inmate postal mail will be returned to sender if it contains any of the following item(s) or substance(s): Mail that is not returnable due to lack of return address will be placed in inmate’s property.                                                                                                                      

     a)       Threats

    • Of physical harm against person;
    • Of criminal activity;
    • To the security of the jail;
    • Of blackmail or extortion;
    • Of plans for escape/maps;
    • Is in code
    • Of activities in violation of Inmate Facility rules;
    • Instructions for the manufacture of weapons, drugs, drug paraphernalia, or alcoholic beverages.

    b)   Perfume, lipstick, stickers, glitters, adhesive tapes or glue attached to the letter, postcard or privileged mail.

    c)   Writing and/or drawings of any kind on the face of the postcard or envelope, other than the sender’s and recipient’s
          name and address.

    d)   No contact with victim or staff (other than through requests or appeals).

    e)   Polaroid/Instamatic Photographs; in excess of 20 photos; Photographs (or photos in magazine) that contain nudity
          or are sexually explicit; Photographs larger than 5” x 7”.

     f)   Maps or diagrams pertaining to any Flagler County government building.

    g)   Correspondence with inmates at other county, state or federal facilities unless approval is received prior from the
          receiving facility and the Flagler County Detention Services Senior Director.

    h)   Publications:

    • Hardbound and used books;
    • Content inviolation of policy; **One book contained metal spiral rings – not allowed
    • Not sent from the publisher;
    • Does not have the inmate’s correct name and booking number;

     i)   Incoming postcards, letters or privileged mail that do not contain the inmate’s full name, including booking number

     j)   Stamps(loose or attached to blank envelopes), more than (2) metered envelopes, more than (4) sheets of blank paper

Other: ______________________________________________________________________________________


          Letter sender:   ______________________________________










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The Flagler County Sheriff's Office has the solemn duty of serving and protecting the citizens of our great county.

Address: 901 East Moody Blvd, Bunnell, FL 32110
Phone: (386) 437-4116 
Fax: (386) 586-4820

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