Pa. Department of Corrections to expand safety measures limiting contraband through mail


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Department of Corrections (DOC) announced Friday the expansion of safety protocols aimed at limiting entry points for contraband into State Correctional Institutions.

As of March 1, 2021, all mail received at any State Correctional Institution that is to be treated as privileged must contain a control number issued in advance to qualified senders by the DOC, including mail from courts.

Changes were made in response to a recent incident involving mail sent to the DOC purportedly from the court system.

A substance known as K-2, or spice, was introduced into SCI Dallas through the court system and two corrections officers were exposed requiring treatment at an outside hospital.

“While we face the challenge of mitigating COVID-19 in our prison system, we must still contend with drugs, substance use disorder and the security threats caused by contraband,” said Wetzel. “We are putting commonsense precautions in place that do not further limit the freedom of those in our custody, while ensuring their safety and the safety of our staff.”

The control number process that has been in place for over a year was required for attorneys sending legal mail to inmates, but not the courts.

A control number can be obtained by a court or qualifying entity quickly and easily. Regular mail can be sent to an inmate by anyone, without a control number, using the Smart Communications address and following the instructions on our website by clicking here.

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