Associated Press Published

West Virginia Jails Photocopy Mail and Destroy Originals

Prison Bars

West Virginia authorities say the regional jail system has revamped its inmate mail policy so inmates receive photocopies of all mail from family friends and businesses and the originals are shredded.Prison Bars

According to the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, the state’s prisons are poised to do the same as the 10 regional jails.

Authorities say photographs in such “non-privileged” mail also are photocopied. The originals are kept with the inmate’s personal belongings pending release.

The department says the new policy is responding to many attempts to smuggle contraband into the jails and prisons, specifically various forms of synthetic drugs by coating mailings with them.

The regional jail system received and screened some 300,000 pieces of mail last year.