OGDEN -- Sending a message to an inmate in Weber County Jail?
Better make it short and sweet -- it'll have to fit on a postcard.
Weber County Jail is no longer allowing inmates to receive mail in envelopes. The policy was put into effect several months ago, said Weber Sheriff's Lt. Mark Lowther.
"The primary reason is for safety and security," he said. "It creates a safer environment."
Lowther said the process of opening and searching letters for contraband was very labor intensive, and with more than 700 inmates in the jail, it was a better idea to adopt a policy that made mail in envelopes a no-go.
Anyone who wishes to write a message to an inmate can still do so, but it has to be sent on a postcard.
"No envelopes, with the exception of legal mail," Lowther said. "Everything else is postcards."
There was not a specific instance or a sudden increase in mail that caused officials to reconsider their policy, Lowther said.
"It was just looked at and adopted to help reduce contraband," he said.
While jail workers will now spend less time opening and searching mail, Lowther said there will still be work to do. Even the postcards have to be examined to make sure no contraband gets through to inmates.
"They still need to be processed. It's just not as labor intensive," he said.
Calls to Davis County Jail about its policy were not returned.
The jail in Cache County recently adopted a policy similar to the Weber jail.