RICHMOND — The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) continues to fight against the attempted flow of drugs and other contraband into facilities. One way the VADOC stops suspected drugs from entering facilities is through the screening of mail.
The VADOC’s Centralized Mail Unit, is part of the department’s Operations and Logistics Unit (OLU), which screens incoming mail addressed to inmates at facilities in the Commonwealth.
Between January 1 and September 15, 2023, the Centralized Mail Unit stopped 113 pieces of mail containing suspected drugs from entering facilities. For calendar year 2022, a total of 119 pieces of mail containing suspected drugs were intercepted. “Incoming mail presents another front in the war against drugs and contraband entering the department’s facilities,” said VADOC Director Chadwick Dotson. “The Virginia Department of Corrections continues to remain vigilant in this fight and continuously improves the screening process to discover new techniques smugglers use to attempt to disguise drugs in mail.”
Suspected drugs can be disguised in many types of mail, including legal mail, books, packages, newspapers and even mail noted as religious. Between January 1 and September 15, 2023, a total of 20 books and nine packages were confiscated for suspected drugs. For calendar year 2022, 19 books and five packages were confiscated for suspected drugs.
“I thank our Centralized Mail Unit employees and the OLU for their tireless work in this fight against drugs and contraband,” Director Dotson said. “A drug and contraband free environment is necessary to provide safe and effective incarceration, which leads to lasting public safety in the Commonwealth.”
Family members, friends, attorneys, courts and other public officials and organizations can correspond with inmates by mail (and inmates may correspond with all parties listed) while they are incarcerated. All correspondence must comply with the VADOC procedures and not pose a threat to the facility’s security, violate any state or federal law, or violate any U.S. Postal Service regulation. More information about sending mail to inmates can be found here.