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Legal Mail

Comply with Legal
Requirements of
Inmate Mail Screening

Safe. Private. Confidential.
Screen Unopened Mail and Documents

MailSecur uses T-rays to allow corrections personnel to“see inside” letters, packages and soft objects to detect threats that X-ray and other approaches can’t find. Operators view a live, 3D video of the object and can manipulate the items to get alternate views. 

Corrections officer manually screening mail

Complex Challenges

Related to Legal Mail

Legal mail is broadly classified as correspondence from an inmate’s legal counsel or the court system. It is safeguarded under the Constitution and can’t be sent electronically or opened without cause. It also must be delivered in a timely manner. Because of this, fraudulent legal mail has become a key avenue for smuggling contraband and dangerous substances into facilities. 


Manual Workarounds Means Inefficiencies

Staff can conduct non-intrusive screening – visual inspection, X-ray, or chemical tests – of the unopened mail item itself. Yet most drugs and related contraband are sent in small enough quantities, contain never seen before substances, or are concealed in such a manner that they evade conventional drug detection techniques.  

Preventing the smuggling of contraband and other substances takes time and resource-intensive manual processes such as contacting each law firm to verify that the mail item is legitimate. Then, the individual must be moved from their cell to a screening area in order for the mail to be opened and manually inspected in front of the incarcerated individual with limited effectiveness.   

Steps of legal mail inspection
Person making copies

Manual Mail Screening

Processes Aren't the Solution

The use of manual screening processes to prevent prison smuggling has been met with legal challenges. When opening the mail, even in front of an inmate, corrections staff may accidentally read the material, potentially violating the inmate’s right to privacy and confidentiality. This is similar for facilities that pursue digitization or photocopying, which requires the mail item to be opened in order for it to be scanned.  Photocopies may not be of the best quality and there can be delays in delivery. 

It also doesn’t solve potential safety risks for staff. The first is the need to move inmates from their cell to another area of the facility to screen the mail. The second being the risk of accidental exposure, as corrections staff are still required to open the mail without knowing what hazards it may contain.


A Familiar and

Proven Process

Physical mail screening for prison smuggling should adopt the same workflows as those used for screening emails for cyber threats. When a suspicious email is detected, it is placed in quarantine for further inspection, while normal emails are immediately passed along to the recipient’s inbox without delay.

Following this approach for mail screening has many benefits: 

  • Maintain privacy and confidentiality 
  • Protects mail screeners and handlers 
  • Reduces screening time 
  • Detects more contraband and drugs 
Inmate mail like email flow chart
Mobile screening infographic


Inspect Legal Mail
with Confidence

MailSecur T-ray imaging technology detects drug-laced papers and the smallest quantities of liquids, powders, and other drugs without the need for opening the mail. T-rays, unlike X-rays, are safe for humans, and completely hands-on, allowing the operator to manipulate the mail item to gain alternate views in real-time. The imaging is sensitive enough that the operator can see grains of powder or liquid moving within an envelope, identify sections of paper previously soaked in liquids, such as drugs or household cleaners, and even spot the presence of suboxone strips hidden within the pages of a magazine or the folds of paper.  

MailSecur can be operated with minimal training, expanding the number of mail handlers that can perform screening and significantly reducing the training time needed to become proficient with the system. The MailSecur screening system is a desktop unit that is a fully mobile solution. It can easily be mounted on a cart, powered by a battery, and moved to various locations throughout the facility as needed. This includes bringing the unit into housing units, eliminating the need to move inmates. 


Legalities of Inmate Mail Screening

Fraudulent legal mail has become a preferred means for the prison smuggling of drugs and contraband into correctional facilities. The Sixth Amendment limits how legal mail can be inspected, forcing the insertion of time and resource-intensive manual processes.

Relevant Resources

MailSecur Product Overview

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