Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 6. Criminal Justice And Corrections
Agency 35. Department (Board) of Juvenile Justice
Chapter 41. Regulation Governing Juvenile Group Homes and Halfway Houses

6VAC35-41-570. Residents' mail.

A. A resident's incoming or outgoing mail may be delayed or withheld only in accordance with this section or as permitted by other applicable regulations or by order of a court.

B. In accordance with written procedures, staff may open and inspect residents' incoming and outgoing nonlegal mail for contraband. When based on legitimate facility interests of order and security, nonlegal mail may be read, censored, or rejected. In accordance with written procedures, the resident shall be notified when incoming or outgoing letters are withheld in part or in full.

C. In the presence of the recipient and in accordance with written procedures, staff may open to inspect for contraband, but shall not read, legal mail. Legal mail shall mean any written material that is sent to or received from a designated class of correspondents, as defined in procedures, which shall include any court, legal counsel, administrators of the grievance system, or administrators of the department, facility, provider, or governing authority.

D. Staff shall not read mail addressed to parents, immediate family members, legal guardian, guardian ad litem, counsel, courts, officials of the committing authority, public official, or grievance administrators unless permission has been obtained from a court or the facility administrator has determined that there is a reasonable belief that the security of a facility is threatened. When so authorized, staff may read such mail only in the presence of a witness and in accordance with written procedures.

E. Except as otherwise provided, incoming and outgoing letters shall be held for no more than 24 hours and packages for no more than 48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays.

F. Cash, stamps, and other specified items may be held for the resident.

G. Upon request, each resident shall be given postage and writing materials for all legal correspondence and at least two other letters per week.

H. Residents shall be permitted to correspond at their own expense with any person or organization provided such correspondence does not pose a threat to facility order and security and is not being used to violate or to conspire to violate the law.

I. First class letters and packages received for residents who have been transferred or released shall be forwarded.

J. Written procedure governing correspondence of residents shall be made available to all staff and residents and shall be reviewed annually and updated as needed.

Statutory Authority

§§ 16.1-309.9, 66-10, and 66-24 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 25, eff. January 1, 2014.

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