Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

Rules & Regulations

Inmate Correspondence Program (Part 720 of 7 NYCRR)

Date filed with the Department of State (DOS): 9/19/2007

DOS #: COR-38-07-00005

Date adopted: 12/19/2007

Description: To improve recording of requests from the public not to be contacted by specific inmates; refer requestors to the Office of Victim Services; and better define contraband mail.

TEXT OF RULE

Section 720.3 (a) (1) (3) (4) of 7 NYCRR is amended as follows:

(a) Negative correspondence and telephone list. Whenever the recipient of inmate correspondence indicates, in any manner, that he or she does not wish to receive further correspondence from the inmate, [both] the correspondence unit , the package room, the Deputy Superintendent for Security, the Senior Correction Counselor, the facility Parole Office and the inmate shall be notified. [An appropriate entry shall be made in the inmate’s folder to document this notification.] Departmental Form 3402 shall be used for notification. A copy will be filed.

(1) The negative correspondence and telephone list shall contain the name of any person or business that has indicated, in any manner, that further correspondence from the inmate is not desired. If a request to be removed from an inmate’s telephone or correspondence list is [not] received [in writing], a confirmation letter shall be sent to the person making the request. If such a person indicates, at a later time, that further correspondence is not objectionable, the superintendent or his/her designee may, but need not, direct [that] the name of that person or business be removed from the negative correspondence and telephone list. Upon receipt of a request to be placed on an inmate’s negative correspondence and telephone list, the requester is to be informed of the toll-free telephone number for the Office of Victim Services. The requester should also be told that the Office of Victim Services is available to explain release notification options and access to Crime Victim Compensation funds, and when appropriate, to make referrals to support groups or community services such as those assisting victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.

(3) No inmate shall continue to submit mail to be sent to a person or business which currently appears on the inmate’s negative correspondence and telephone list. Any inmate who continues to submit mail to such a person or business may be subject to disciplinary action and/or monitoring of outgoing mail for a specified period of time.

(4) No inmate may correspond or make telephone calls to [with] any person who is listed on a n active court order of protection which prohibits such [correspondence] contacts. The name of the person(s) will be added to the negative correspondence and telephone list. Departmental Form 3402 will be completed and used for notification. A copy will be filed.

Section 720.3 (b) (5) of 7 NYCRR is amended as follows:

(5) Victims. Authorization from the superintendent must be obtained before an inmate may correspond with any victim of a crime for which the inmate has been convicted or is presently under indictment, or with any member of said victim’s household who is not an immediate family member of the inmate. The name of the person(s) will be added to the negative correspondence and telephone list. Departmental Form 3402 will be completed and used for notification. A copy will be filed.

Section 720.4 (a) (1) of 7 NYCRR is amended as follows:

(1) Before opening, incoming mail should be checked to make sure that the addressee can be accurately identified and is currently at the facility. [If the addressee cannot be identified, the mail should be stamped “Return to Sender – Addressee Cannot be Identified.”] If the addressee is no longer at the facility, the mail shall be forwarded in accordance with Part 722 of this Title. All incoming general correspondence must have a clearly identifiable name of sender and return address. A letter which does not have a return address will not be delivered to the inmate. It will be considered contraband and handled in accordance with departmental directive.

Section 720.4 (d) (5) of 7 NYCRR is amended as follows:

(5) Illegal items. Illegal items, e.g., drugs, weapons, etc., shall be forwarded to the security office, with appropriate chain-of-custody documentation. When appropriate, the State Police or other police agency shall be notified.

Section 720.7 (e) of 7 NYCRR is amended as follows:

(e) All business mail addressed to the media may be submitted sealed. Such business mail shall not be subject to opening, inspection, or confiscation, except in accordance with the provisions of section 720.3[(a)(8)] (c) of this Part.

Section 720.8 (d) of 7 NYCRR is amended as follows:

(d) Advances for personal postage. Funds may be advanced to an inmate for one domestic first class one ounce letter per month in the following circumstances:

(1) The inmate has been confined to SHU for disciplinary or administrative segregation for 30 days or more, and has a zero or negative account balance.

(2) The inmate has been in keeplock status for 30 days or more, has lost telephone privileges, and has a zero or negative account balance.

(3) The inmate has lost telephone privileges, has a zero or negative account balance, and has not refused to accept available program assignments.

Note:

Changes in the proposed text are indicated by underlining new text and [bracketing] text to be deleted. Rules that are new are presented as regular text without underlining or brackets. New and/or repealed rules are noted in the description heading at the top of the document.

The complete listing of New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations (NYCRR) is available online through the NYS Department of State website.