MIDDLETON, Mass. – The Essex County Sheriff’s Department will no longer be accepting personal mail for incarcerated persons and will switch to a digital delivery system as of Thursday, Sept. 9.
The switch to digital mail applies only to personal and nonprivileged mail. Privileged and legal correspondence, as well as some specific items such as money orders and publications sent directly from a publisher or authorized retailer, will still be accepted through the postal service.
This program aims to eliminate contraband from entering ECSD facilities through the postal service, while also reducing the health risk associated with inspecting and sorting mail.
“Prisons and jails across the country are all dealing with the dangers of drugs making their way to their secure facilities through the mail. It poses a significant health risk to both our employees and to our incarcerated population,” Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger said. “This digital mail program is something we have been developing for months and we believe it will be an effective weapon in our war against illegal drugs and contraband.”
The program is run by Securus Technologies, which will receive, open, and scan mail into digital files. ECSD will print the files and distribute to recipients. The original correspondence will be kept by Securus for 30 days before being destroyed. A sender may request their correspondence be returned by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope.
For more on how the Securus Digital Mail Program works, please visit https://www.essexsheriffma.org/family-and-visitor-information/pages/inmate-mail.