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Postcard only rule at Muskegon County jail revised, a little bit

Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Protestors lined up in front of the Muskegon County jail several times this year to protest the posdcard only policy.

In February the sheriff instituted a “postcard only” rule at the county jail. That meant inmates could only send or receive mail on standard postcards. The sheriff was trying to keep drugs, pornography, and items inmates could use as weapons – out of the jail. Legal paperwork is exempt. Now the sheriff is allowing inmates to send letters. But incoming mail still has to be written on standard postcards.

Wendy Sampson is one of dozens of people who have protested against the postcard only policy.

“I think the change in policy has demonstrated that that was not the only option, that that was not the last resort, that other possibilities are available.”

The sheriff told The Muskegon Chronicle the change had nothing to do with protests against the policy. Requests for comment from Sheriff Dean Roesler were not returned Thursday.

Sampson says her group will continue to protest until both incoming and outgoing mail can be sent in envelopes.

She says senior citizens and children have difficulty writing small enough letters to fit on postcards to send to their loved ones in jail.

16 other county jails in Michigan have postcard only policies.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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