New jail mail policies showing positive changes toward safety

Jail is supposed to be a place where a person serves punishment for the crime they committed, not where they go to be a party to more crimes.

Unfortunately, that’s what was happening at the Bartholomew County Jail with something as seemingly innocuous as incoming mail for inmates.

The mail, officials have discovered, has been a conduit for drugs and contraband to be smuggled into the jail for inmates.

Suboxone has been a problem in particular. Suboxone contains buprenorphine, an opioid medication, and naloxone, which blocks the effects of injecting opioids. Suboxone can slow or stop a person’s breathing, and can be addictive and lead to overdoses and death.

Contraband was discovered in incoming mail twice in 2016, but 12 times last year. So far this year, three smuggling attempts have been discovered.

Sheriff Matt Myers has taken steps to stop the flow of drugs and contraband into the jail by making multiple policy changes regarding incoming mail for inmates:

Only plain white paper and non-security envelopes allowed

  • No colored paper
  • No colored drawings
  • No stains or discolorations on envelopes
  • Nothing with fragrance
  • Stamps will be removed

Envelopes must contain the full name and address of the sender

The changes may sound harsh, but the public has had to deal with inconveniences before when it comes to safety and security. Going through airport security to board a flight requires far more steps since 9/11, for example. People understand that it’s necessary, however.

Likewise, the new policies about incoming mail are necessary steps to keep drugs out of jail. That’s something residents should understand and support.

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