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Corrections officials may delay mail restrictions
The policy, which was posted on Nov. 27, would prevent inmates from receiving forms, checks and cash from the outside, as they do now, a Corrections Department spokesman said Tuesday. And the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union has said it believes the policy violates First Amendment rights of prisoners.
"It may not go into effect (as planned)," he said. Implementation will likely be delayed until February, he said.
The new policy says inmates in the two highest security classifications — maximum (C5) and close custody (C4) — can only receive mail as postcards. An exception is privileged communication from a lawyer or court. Inmates on suicide watch would have no access to mail.
A postcard provides a single 4-by-6-inch space to write a message. But for a single stamp, a friend or relative can send eight sheets of paper, which amounts to 16 written pages, said Gilles Bissonnette, staff attorney for the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union.
He said the NHCLU plans to meet with the Corrections Department about the matter after Jan. 1., and officials appear to be taking comments and criticisms seriously.
Meanwhile, prisoner email rules are scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1.
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