Sheriff limiting most inmate mail to postcards

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Harrison County Sheriff Melvin Brisolara is banning letters in envelopes at the jail.

"The main reason is to try to cut costs as much as we can," the sheriff said.

Starting June 17, any letter to or from a Harrison County inmate must be written on a postcard.  The exceptions to that policy are legal mail, money orders and pictures. All other mail will be returned to the original sender.

The sheriff said it currently takes his staff all day to go through the mail, and search for any contraband sent to prisoners (razors, drugs, cigarettes).

The sheriff hasn't filled one of his postal positions. So, he's taking people from other areas of the jail and have them sort through the mail.  By not filling this vacant position, he can save as much as $45,000 a year, and prevent contraband from getting to inmates.

"It's a little easier to handle the volume when it's in post card form," Brisolara said.  "The full time mail person will be able to handle it."

The sheriff said this is not a unique idea.  It's done at jails across the country.

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