COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Sheriff Greg Countryman is making changes to the mail system at the Muscogee County Jail.
The Sheriff’s Office says converting all mail sent to inmates into digital versions is a response to the rise in contraband sent via mail to jails across the United States.
Beginning March 15, all non-legal and non-commercial mail for the Muscogee County Jail must be sent online at JailATM.com or mailed to an inbox in Atlanta. The Sheriff’s Office says normal mail rules still apply and content violations may prevent delivery to an inmate.
To send mail to the Atlanta inbox, mail must be addressed as:
JailATM.com – Muscogee County Jail
INMATE ID: INMATE FULL NAME
925B Peachtree St. NE, Box 2062
Atlanta, GA 30309
Countryman says people outside the jail sometimes soak mail in illegal substances, like drugs. Inmates will then eat the mail. This often results in trips to the on-site health clinic or even the hospital. Sheriff Countryman says this new way of receiving mail will create a safer environment.
“I see this as being a safer process for those opening up the mail, checking the mail for any type of photos, looking to see if it’s any content in there that should not be in there,” Countryman said.
While inmates will receive all of their mail digitally, they cannot respond to mail digitally. Instead, all outgoing inmate correspondence must be hand written.
The new mailing process will take the same time process as inmates receiving physical mail.
To ensure mail reaches inmate recipients, the Sheriff’s Office says the Inmate Name and ID Number must be clearly printed on the outside of the envelope or postcard. If the identifying information is not included, it could result in lost or misdirected mail. Electronic letters, including picture attachments, can be sent at JailATM.com.
According to the release from the Sheriff’s Office, prohibited mailing materials include:
- Racy or pornographic images.
- Pictures or descriptions of illegal activities.
- Pictures or descriptions of self-defense tactics, locksmith instructions, escape techniques, or similar material deemed hazardous by correctional staff.
- Pictures or descriptions of the use or manufacture of firearms, explosives, or other weapons.
- Drugs or biohazards on the envelope or contents.
- Threatening or violent content.
Those trying to get in contact with an inmate can find the inmate ID number online at the jail website or on JailATM.com. Any legal and commercial mail should continue to be sent directly to Muscogee County Jail.
Digital mail will be available to inmates for 30 days at the Jail. All of that correspondence will then be saved on a server and made available to inmates on their release.