Representatives of the news media who visit correctional institutions are subject to the same rules as other visitors. They will not be counted against any limits as to the number of visitors permitted, unless they are on an inmate's visiting list.
With the written permission of the inmate, news media representatives may photograph the inmate. The permission shall include the date of the photo and the use to be made of it.
The warden shall regulate all visits and interviews conducted pursuant to this section as to time, location, length, and equipment used.
DOC 309.03 History
Cr. Register, October, 1981, No. 310
, eff. 11-1-81; am. (2) (intro.), (a) (intro.), 1., 2., (5), cr. (2) (a) 3., 4., r. (2) (b), renum. and am. (2) (c) and (d) to be (2) (b) and (c), Register, September, 1998, No. 513
, eff. 10-1-98.
The department may allow inmates to communicate with their families, friends, government officials, courts, and other people concerned with the welfare of inmates consistent with the need to protect the public.
Incoming mail addressed to inmates may be opened, examined, censored, and delivered under this section only if the inmate consents in writing to receive mail through institution mail services.
If an inmate does not consent under par. (a)
, the institution shall return incoming mail addressed to the inmate to the post office unopened marked, “refused."
The department shall permit an inmate to correspond with anyone.
All outgoing inmate mail shall be stamped. The stamp shall identify the mail as coming from the Wisconsin state prison system.
Institution staff may not open or read for inspection mail sent by an inmate to any of the parties listed in pars. (a)
, unless the security director has reason to believe that the mail contains contraband. Institution staff may open mail received by an inmate from any of these parties in the presence of the inmate. Staff may inspect the document but only to the extent necessary to determine if the mail contains contraband, or if the purpose is misrepresented. Staff may read the mail if staff has reason to believe it is other than a legal document. The department shall process contraband in accordance with sub. (4) (e) (intro.)
. This subsection applies to mail clearly identifiable as being from one or more of the following parties:
The attorney general or an assistant attorney general of Wisconsin.
Except as provided in sub. (3)
, the department shall apply the following restrictions to all inmate correspondence:
Incoming and outgoing mail may be opened and inspected for contraband. It shall not be delivered if it contains contraband.
Correctional staff may read mail other than mail specified in sub. (3)
in order to ensure the safety of the institution, institution staff, inmates and the general public. If the correspondence is between inmates and concerns joint legal matters, staff shall not read further and staff shall submit the mail for delivery.
The department may not deliver incoming or outgoing mail if it does any of the following:
Concerns activity that, if completed, would violate the laws of Wisconsin or the United States or the administrative rules of the department.
Solicits gifts from a person other than a family member or a person on the visiting list.
Poses a threat to the security, orderly operation, discipline or safety of the institution.
Is inconsistent with or poses a threat to the safety, treatment or rehabilitative goals of an inmate.
Contains information that, if communicated, would create a clear danger of physical or mental harm to any person.
Teaches or advocates illegal activity, disruption, or behavior consistent with a gang or a violent ritualistic group.
Is determined by the warden, on a case by case basis, to interfere with an inmate's penological interests, goals, or needs.
Is determined by the warden, for reasons other than those listed in this paragraph, to be inappropriate for distribution throughout the institution.
The security director shall keep a record of any mail that is read, except inmate to inmate mail. The record shall include the name of the sender and receiver, the date, the reason for reading it, and the name of the reader. Inmates shall address questions regarding mail inspection to the security director.
A record of any mail that is not delivered shall be kept by the security director. It shall include the name of the sender and intended receiver, the date, and the reason for not delivering it.
If it is incoming mail, the letter and a written notice stating why the letter was not delivered shall be sent to the sender, unless the sender was an inmate. The inmate to whom the letter was sent shall be given a written notice that the letter was not delivered and the identity of the sender.
If the letter is outgoing mail, the department shall provide the sender a notice stating why the letter was not delivered. Correctional staff shall dispose of the letter consistent with s. DOC 303.09 (2)
An inmate may appeal decisions regarding non-delivery of mail to the warden, who shall decide the appeal in accordance with this subsection.
A record of cash, checks, money orders, and any negotiable instruments shall be made. It shall include the name of the sender and receiver, the amount, and date.
If the inspection or reading of mail reveals an attempt to send contraband in or out of an institution or to secure delivery of mail that may not be delivered pursuant to par. (c)
, the security director may order that mail to or from the inmate or sender shall be opened and read for a reasonable period of time.
Parcels, packages, and any other incoming or outgoing items other than correspondence that are mailed or delivered to an inmate may be opened for inspection for contraband. If, upon opening, the contents are found to be damaged, the inmate should be notified.
The department shall dispose of contraband found through inspections conducted pursuant to this section in accordance with s. DOC 303.09 (2)
For violations of administrative rules or policies and procedures made by institutions relating to mail, mail privileges may be suspended by the security director or adjustment committee.
If an inmate is alleged to have violated these rules or institution policies and procedures relating to mail, institution staff may write a conduct report which shall be disposed of in accordance with the rules providing for disciplinary procedures for major offenses. For such violation, the department may impose a penalty which may include suspension of mail privileges with a specific person for a specific period, subject to the following:
An inmate may appeal a suspension of 6 months or less to the warden within 10 days of the imposition.
An inmate may appeal a suspension of more than 6 months to the warden within 10 days of its imposition and thereafter to the administrator.
If a member of the public is alleged to have violated these sections or institution policies and procedures relating to mail, the security director shall investigate and decide if such a violation occurred. If such a violation occurred, the security director may suspend mail privileges with a specific person for a specific period. Suspension of mail privileges may be appealed in accordance with sub. (8)
DOC 309.04 History
Cr. (3) (h) to (j), (4) (c) 8., 10. to 12., renum. and am. (1) and (2) (c), (3) (intro.) to (g), (4) (intro.), (b), (c) (intro.) to 7., (d), (e) 2., (f), (6), (8) (intro.) to (b) from DOC 309.05 (1), (2) (c), (4) (intro.) to (f), (L), (6) (intro.), (b), (c) (intro.) to 7., (d), (e) 2., (f), (8), (10) (intro.) to (b), renum. (2) (a), (b), (d), (4) (a), (c) 9., (e), 1., (g), (h), (5), (7), (9) from DOC 309.05 (2) (a), (b), (d), (6) (a), (c) 9., (e), 1., (g), (h), (7), (9), (11), r. (6) (c) 8. and 9., (12), Register, September, 1998, No. 513
, eff. 10-1-98; emerg. am. (4) (c) 8. a. eff. 2/23/01; CR 01-022
: am. (4) (c) 8. a., Register August 2001 No. 548
, eff. 9-1-01; CR 11-022
: am. (4) (e) 2., (6) Register September 2014 No. 705
, eff. 1-1-15.
The department shall facilitate inmate reading of publications, including books, magazines, newspapers, and pamphlets.
Section DOC 309.04
applies to receipt of publications. In addition, the department shall restrict receipt of publications by inmates as follows:
Inmates may only receive publications directly from the publisher or other recognized commercial sources in their packages.
Teach or advocate violence or hatred and present a danger to institutional security and order.
Teach or advocate behavior that violates the law of the state or the United States or the rules of the department.
Teach or describe the manufacture or use of weapons, explosives, drugs, or intoxicating substances.
Teach or describe the manufacture or use of devices that create a substantial danger of physical harm to self or others.
The department may not prohibit a publication on the basis of its appeal to a particular ethnic, racial, or religious audience or because of the political beliefs expressed therein.
If a publication is not delivered pursuant to sub. (2)
, the department shall notify the inmate and the sender. The inmate may appeal the decision to the warden within 10 days of the decision.
DOC 309.05 History
Renum. and am. (1), (2), (3) from DOC 309.06 (1), (2), (3), Register, September, 1998, No. 513
, eff. 10-1-98.
DOC 309.06 Visitation.
The department shall administer a visitation program which regulates visitation of inmates by family members, friends, and others consistent with resources available, the department's responsibility for the secure and orderly operation of institutions, public safety, and the protection of visitors, staff and inmates.
DOC 309.06 History
Cr. Register, June, 2000, No. 534
, eff. 7-1-00.
DOC 309.07 Conduct during visits.
Visitors and inmates shall obey the administrative rules and institution policies and procedures regarding visitation.
DOC 309.07 History
Cr. Register, June, 2000, No. 534
, eff. 7-1-00.
Each inmate shall have an approved visitor's list.
Except as otherwise provided under this section, the warden shall only permit visitors on the inmate's approved list to visit the inmate. Except as provided under par. (c)
, the warden shall only permit each inmate 12 adult visitors on the visiting list.
Children of the inmate and children of approved visitors who have not attained their 18th birthday may visit and the warden shall not count them against the 12 visitors permitted. In order to be permitted to visit an inmate, children shall have written approval of a non-incarcerated custodial parent or legal guardian, or have a court order directing the visit, and their names must appear on the approved visitors list.
The warden may approve more than 12 visitors on the visiting list if the first 12 visitors on the visiting list are close family members.
The institution may require inmates to provide accurate and complete information regarding proposed visitors, including, but not limited to, the name and address of the proposed visitor, the inmate's relationship to the proposed visitor, and date of birth of the proposed visitor.
The institution may require and utilize information from other sources in determining a proposed visitor's suitability for visitation.
An inmate may not make any changes in an inmate's visiting list for a minimum of 6 months from the date of its original approval or for a minimum of 6 months after each subsequent approval or disapproval determination is made.
The department shall establish procedures for the formulation and maintenance of visiting lists.
The warden may place additional limitations or conditions on the visitation of inmates during periods of intensive programming or special placement for an individual inmate or a class of inmates. The additional limitations shall be related to the special programs or placements for security or program reasons. Limitations may include the number of visits or visitors and time or duration of visits. Conditions may include no contact visits or visitation provided by technological means not requiring direct personal contact, such as video connections.