New limit on mail for Greene County prisoners

GREENE COUNTY, Mo. A change is coming in the way Greene County jail inmates will be able to communicate with people on the outside.

Greene County processed more than 62,000 pieces of mail within the past year. In an effort to streamline their process and increase safety and security, mail correspondence will be limited to postcards unless it's legal or religious mail.

"There is far less opportunity for contraband, drugs to be smuggled into the facility," said Correctional Deputy Dwight Willis.

He's processed mail at the Greene County Jail for seventeen years.

"We're in a really bad area for drugs. We have people in here who are addicted to drugs. We have people in here that deal in drugs and they selling drugs. If they can continue that enterprise in this facility that's exactly what they'll do," he said.

He's come across just about everything.

An inmate tried to send an envelope out from the jail with talcum powder in it. It was intended for a judge," explained Willis.

Corporal James Craigmyle said, "It's not taking away their privacy. They'll still have basic, limited first amendment rights."

There's no limit on how many postcards inmates can send or receive. They just can't possess more than ten in their cells at any time. Inmates can purchase postcards in the commissary.

"After researching case law, after researching other institutions throughout the United States that are doing this, they felt this was the best and safest way place for us to go towards since we are getting ready to build a new jail," said Craigmyle.

The postcards will be screened just as closely as regular mail.

Craigmyle said, "Our goal is all about keeping everybody safe and alive in our jail and still falling under what the constitution says of their amendments on what they can and can't do."

It's unknown, at this time, just how much money this will save the jail.

The new process will start on February 15.

The postcards will be available for the public to purchase at local post offices.