Creative contraband in letters to jail

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

TROUP COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - It looks like a sweet Valentine's Day card from a loved one to a person in jail. But, inside there is a surprise for the inmate, usually tobacco hidden in a compartment in the envelope.

Illegal items trying to sneak their way in to the jail had become a big problem in Troup County.

Someone has to hand scan every piece of mail that comes in to the jail for contraband.

"2,500 pieces of mail can take a considerable amount of time especially when you are talking about enveloped letters.  Each piece of mail has to be opened up, shaken, checked for contraband, placed back inside the envelope and addressed to the inmate," explained Troup County Sgt. Chad Mann.

With a new policy, Sheriff Donny Turner hopes to cut down on the work and stop people from being so sneaky.  Since October 1, 2011, no enveloped letters have been allowed to go to inmates.  The only exception is legal mail from an attorney.

Inmates can receive a postcard.  It must be pre-stamped or metered so that nothing illegal is placed behind the stamp.

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