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Bop Incoming Publication Policy 2003

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U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Prisons

Program
Statement

OPI:
NUMBER:
DATE:
SUBJECT:

CPD
5266.10
1/10/2003
Incoming Publications

1. [PURPOSE AND SCOPE § 540.70. Except when precluded by
statute (see § 540.72), the Bureau of Prisons permits an inmate
to subscribe to or to receive publications without prior approval
and has established procedures to determine if an incoming
publication is detrimental to the security, discipline, or good
order of the institution or if it might facilitate criminal
activity. The term publication, as used in this subpart, means a
book, booklet, pamphlet, or similar document, or a single issue
of a magazine, periodical, newsletter, newspaper, plus such other
materials addressed to a specific inmate such as advertising
brochures, flyers, and catalogs.]
Section 7 of this Program Statement contains procedures to
implement Sec. 615 of The Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations
Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-113) (hereinafter referred to as “the
Ensign amendment”).
2. PROGRAM OBJECTIVES.
are:

The expected results of this program

a. Inmates will be permitted to receive and retain
publications which do not threaten security, good order, or
discipline of the institution or that may facilitate criminal
activity, or are otherwise prohibited by law.
b. Publications determined detrimental to the security, good
order, or discipline of the institution or that may facilitate
criminal activity, or are otherwise prohibited by law, will be
excluded from Bureau facilities.
[Bracketed Bold - Rules]
Regular Type - Implementing Information

PS 5266.10
1/10/2003
Page 2
c. A safer environment for staff and inmates will be provided
by strengthening procedures designed to prevent the introduction
of contraband.
DIRECTIVES AFFECTED

3.

a.

Directive Rescinded
PS 5266.09

b.

Incoming Publications (7/29/99)

Directives Referenced
PS
PS
PS
PS
PS
PS

1330.13
1350.02
5265.11
5360.08
5580.06
5800.10

Administrative Remedy Program (12/22/95)
Donations, Acceptance of (6/29/98)
Correspondence (7/9/99)
Religious Beliefs and Practices (5/25/01)
Personal Property, Inmate (7/19/99)
Mail Management Manual (11/3/95)

c. Rules cited in this Program Statement are contained in
28 CFR 540.70 through 540.72.
4.

STANDARDS REFERENCED

a. American Correctional Association 2nd Edition Standards for
Administration of Correctional Agencies: 2-CO-5D-01
b. American Correctional Association 3rd Edition Standards for
Adult Correctional Institutions: 3-4432
c. American Correctional Association 3rd Edition Standards for
Adult Local Detention Facilities: 3-ALDF-5D-04
d. American Correctional Association Standards for Adult
Correctional Boot Camp Programs: 1-ABC-5D-04
5. MCC/MDC/FDC/FTC APPLICATION. Procedures in this Program
Statement apply to Metropolitan Correctional Centers,
Metropolitan Detention Centers, Federal Detention Centers, and
Federal Transportation Centers, all of which are referred to as
“administrative institutions” for the purposes of this Program
Statement.
6.

PROCEDURES § 540.71

[a. (1) At all Bureau institutions, an inmate may receive
hardcover publications and newspapers only from the publisher,
from a book club, or from a bookstore.

PS 5266.10
1/10/2003
Page 3
The sender’s address shall be clearly identified on the
outside of the package.
(2) At medium security, high security, and administrative
institutions, an inmate may receive softcover publications (for
example, paperback books, newspaper clippings, magazines, and
other similar items) only from the publisher, from a book club,
or from a bookstore.
(3) At minimum security and low security institutions, an
inmate may receive softcover publications (other than newspapers)
from any source.
(4) The Unit Manager may make an exception to the
provisions of paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section if the
publication is no longer available from the publisher, book club,
or bookstore. The Unit Manager shall require that the inmate
provide written documentation that the publication is no longer
available from these sources. The approval of any request for an
exception is to be documented, in writing, on an Authorization to
Receive a Package which will be used to secure the item.
[b. The Warden may reject a publication only if it is
determined detrimental to the security, good order, or discipline
of the institution or if it might facilitate criminal activity.
The Warden may not reject a publication solely because its
content is religious, philosophical, political, social or sexual,
or because its content is unpopular or repugnant. Publications
which may be rejected by a Warden include but are not limited to
publications which meet one of the following criteria:
(1) It depicts or describes procedures for the construction
or use of weapons, ammunition, bombs or incendiary devices;
(2) It depicts, encourages, or describes methods of escape
from correctional facilities, or contains blueprints, drawings or
similar descriptions of Bureau of Prisons institutions;
(3) It depicts or describes procedures for the brewing of
alcoholic beverages, or the manufacture of drugs;
(4)

It is written in code;

(5) It depicts, describes or encourages activities which
may lead to the use of physical violence or group disruption;

PS 5266.10
1/10/2003
Page 4
(6) It encourages or instructs in the commission of
criminal activity;
(7) It is sexually explicit material which by its nature or
content poses a threat to the security, good order, or discipline
of the institution, or facilitates criminal activity.]
Only the Warden may reject an incoming publication. In the
Warden’s absence, only the Acting Warden may perform this
function.
Section 7 of this Program Statement contains procedures to
implement the Ensign Amendment. In that Section, “sexually
explicit” and “nudity” are defined in terms of pictorial
depictions only. Publications not subject to return under
Section 7 (for example, material which does not meet a definition
in that section) are still subject to rejection under this
section.
To assist staff in determining which materials may pose the
type of threat which warrants exclusion, the following guidelines
are given.
(a) A Warden may determine that sexually explicit
material of the following types is to be excluded, as potentially
detrimental to the security and good order, or discipline of the
institution, or as facilitating criminal activity:
Ž
Ž
Ž

(b)

Sado-masochistic
Bestiality
Involving children
Additionally:

Ž

The Warden must prohibit a sexually explicit
publication if it is determined to pose a threat
to the institution or is contrary to law. Child
pornography materials, which are prohibited by
law, are examples.

Ž

Sexually explicit material does not include
material of a news or information type.
Publications concerning research or opinions on
sexual, health, or reproductive issues, or
covering the activities of gay rights
organizations or gay religious groups, for
example, should be admitted unless otherwise a
threat to legitimate institution interests.

PS 5266.10
1/10/2003
Page 5
Ž

M

Literary publications should not be excluded,
solely because of homosexual themes or references,
if they are not sexually explicit in a manner
which threatens legitimate institution interests.
Sexually explicit material may nonetheless be
admitted if it has scholarly value, or general
social or literary value.

[c. The Warden may not establish an excluded list of
publications. This means the Warden shall review the individual
publication prior to the rejection of that publication.
Rejection of several issues of a subscription publication is not
sufficient reason to reject the subscription publication in its
entirety.
d. Where a publication is found unacceptable, the Warden shall
promptly advise the inmate in writing of the decision and the
reasons for it. The notice must contain reference to the
specific article(s) or material(s) considered objectionable. The
Warden shall permit the inmate an opportunity to review this
material for purposes of filing an appeal under the
Administrative Remedy Program unless such review may provide the
inmate with information of a nature which is deemed to pose a
threat or detriment to the security, good order or discipline of
the institution or to encourage or instruct in criminal
activity.]
In questionable cases, institution staff should consult with
legal staff.
[e. The Warden shall provide the publisher or sender of an
unacceptable publication a copy of the rejection letter. The
Warden shall advise the publisher or sender that he may obtain an
independent review of the rejection by writing to the Regional
Director within 20 days of receipt of the rejection letter. The
Warden shall return the rejected publication to the publisher or
sender of the material unless the inmate indicates an intent to
file an appeal under the Administrative Remedy Program, in which
case the Warden shall retain the rejected material at the
institution for review. In case of appeal, if the rejection is
sustained, the rejected publication shall be returned when appeal
or legal use is completed.]

PS 5266.10
1/10/2003
Page 6
See Notification to Inmate and Publisher/Sender of Rejected
Publication (Attachment A) for a sample notification to inmate
and publisher/sender.
Ž

The Warden must retain the rejected publication for 20
days from the date that the inmate is sent written
notification of the rejection.

Ž

This 20-day period is to allow the inmate the
opportunity to file an appeal under the Administrative
Remedy Program. If the inmate does not file an appeal
within 20 days, the rejected publication may be
returned to the publisher.

Ž

If the inmate does file an appeal, the Warden must
retain the rejected publication at the institution.

Ž

The rejected publication or the offensive portion of it
must be reviewed prior to a staff response being
prepared for the BP-9 or, when applicable, for a BP-10
and/or BP-11.

The regional office and Central Office should not respond to a
BP-10 or BP-11 appeal of a rejected publication without first
reviewing either the rejected publication or a copy of the
offensive portion of it.
[f. The Warden may set limits locally (for fire, sanitation or
housekeeping reasons) on the number or volume of publications an
inmate may receive or retain in his quarters. The Warden may
authorize an inmate additional storage space for storage of legal
materials in accordance with the Bureau of Prisons procedures on
personal property of inmates.]
7. STATUTORY RESTRICTIONS REQUIRING RETURN OF COMMERCIALLY
PUBLISHED INFORMATION OR MATERIAL WHICH IS SEXUALLY EXPLICIT OR
FEATURES NUDITY § 540.72. The Ensign amendment states:
“None of the funds made available in this Act to the
Federal Bureau of Prisons may be used to distribute or
make available any commercially published information or
material to a prisoner when it is made known to the
Federal Official having authority to obligate or expend
such funds that such information or material is sexually
explicit or features nudity.”

PS 5266.10
1/10/2003
Page 7
Ž

Procedures for this section affect those publications
received on or after August 28, 1999. Publications
distributed/authorized prior to that date shall be
retained and transferred in accordance with the Program
Statement on Inmate Personal Property.

[a. When commercially published information or material may
not be distributed by staff or made available to inmates due to
statutory restrictions (for example, a prohibition on the use of
appropriated funds to distribute or make available to inmates
information or material which is sexually explicit or features
nudity), the Warden or designee shall return the information or
material to the publisher or sender. The Warden or designee
shall advise the publisher or sender that an independent review
of the decision may be obtained by writing to the Regional
Director within 20 days of receipt of the notification letter.
Staff shall provide the inmate with written notice of the
action.]
(1) The Warden’s authority to return publications
prohibited under this section may be delegated to Mail Room
staff.
(2) Mail Room staff are to return publications found to be
non-distributable on the basis of the definitions listed in
subsection (b) below.
(3) The publications must be returned along with the
appropriate attachment.
(4) Ordinarily, the outside cover is to be used to assess
content or the need for further review.
(5) Non-distributable publications may be returned to the
sender or publisher in bulk annotating the number of returned
copies (see Notification to Publisher of Return of Publication
(Attachment B)).
(6) Materials extracted, photocopied, or clipped from such
publications must also be returned to the sender with a
Notification to Sender of Return of Materials (Attachment C).
(7) Under subsection (a) of this section, there is no need
to delay the return of non-distributable publications or
materials even when an inmate files an appeal under the
Administrative Remedy Program because the statutory restriction
on making the material available precludes any inmate review of
the material.

PS 5266.10
1/10/2003
Page 8
(8) Inmates are to be notified via use of the Notification
to Inmate of Return of Publication or Materials (Attachment D).
(9) Although the publication or material is to be returned,
the Warden is to insure that a copy of the publication cover and
one page of the banned information or material is copied and
retained at the institution in the event of a subsequent appeal
by the inmate or publisher/sender.
Inmates may use the Administrative Remedy Program to appeal
return of materials under this section. However, insofar as the
Ensign amendment prohibits the Bureau from distributing the
material, inmates may not review copies of returned materials in
connection with their administrative remedy filings.
The Warden needs make only one copy of the retained,
statutorily prohibited information, even if that publication is
received by many inmates.
Ž

For example, if 20 inmates receive the April 1999
publication of XYZ, and that publication cannot be made
available under Section 7., only one set of the
materials needs to be retained.

Ž

A copy of the notification sent to each inmate would
then be attached to the retained material.

[b.

Definitions.

For the purpose of this section:

(1) Commercially published information or material means
any book, booklet, pamphlet, magazine, periodical, newsletter,
photograph or other pictorial depiction, or similar document,
including stationery and greeting cards, published by any
individual, organization, company, or corporation which is
distributed or made available through any means or media for
commercial purposes. This definition includes any portion
extracted, photocopied, or clipped from such items.
(2) Nudity means a pictorial depiction where genitalia or
female breasts are exposed.
(3) Features means the publication contains depictions of
nudity or sexually explicit conduct on a routine or regular basis
or promotes itself based upon such depictions in the case of
individual one-time issues. Publications containing nudity
illustrative of medical, educational, or anthropological content
may be excluded from this definition.]

PS 5266.10
1/10/2003
Page 9
The following are examples of commercial publications which,
based on current practices of the publisher, may be distributed
to inmates even though they may contain nudity because the
publication does not feature nudity as defined above:
Ž
Ž
Ž
Ž

National Geographic
Our Body, Our Selves
Sports magazine swimsuit issues
Lingerie catalogs

Any publication may change a single issue or its general
policies and practices at any time which would allow it to become
acceptable or non-acceptable for distribution. The above
examples are guidelines only and are subject to change.
[(4) Sexually explicit means a pictorial depiction of
actual or simulated sexual acts including sexual intercourse,
oral sex, or masturbation.]
For purposes of this section, written text in the
publication does not qualify a publication as sexually explicit.
Publications with sexual content which are not returned
under these procedures are still subject to rejection through
application of the procedures in Section 6.b.(7) of this Program
Statement.
For example, publications which:
M
M
M
M

contain
feature
feature
involve

sexually explicit text,
sado-masochism,
bestiality, or
children

may not meet the definitions in this Section for “sexually
explicit” or “nudity,” but may be considered detrimental to the
security and good order of the institution, under Section
6.b.(7).

/s/
Kathleen Hawk Sawyer
Director

PS 5266.10
1/10/2003
Attachment A
NOTIFICATION TO INMATE AND PUBLISHER/SENDER OF REJECTED
PUBLICATION (TO BE USED WHEN REJECTING A PUBLICATION UNDER
SECTION 6.a. - 6.e. OF THIS PROGRAM STATEMENT)

Inmate: _______________________
Register Number: ______________
Institution: __________________
RE: _______________________ Issue: ________

The above named publication/material from [publisher/sender name]
has been rejected in accordance with the Bureau’s Program
Statement on Incoming Publications (PS 5266.10), which provides
in part:
A publication may be rejected only if it determined
detrimental to the security, good order, or discipline of
the institution or if it might facilitate criminal
activity.
The above named publication has been rejected because [provide
reference to the specific article(s) or material(s) considered
objectionable and the reason(s) for the decision to reject].
A copy of this notification has been sent to the publisher/sender
who may obtain an independent review of this rejection by writing
to the Warden [name, address] within twenty (20) days of receipt
of that copy.

____________________
Warden
cc: [Publisher/Sender name and address]

_________
Date

PS 5266.10
1/10/2003
Attachment B
NOTIFICATION TO PUBLISHER OF RETURN OF PUBLICATION
(TO BE USED WHEN RETURNING A PUBLICATION UNDER SECTION 7.a.(3)
OF THIS PROGRAM STATEMENT)

[Date]

XXX Enterprises
Box 2345
ANYTOWN, STATE ZIP
Re: XXX Magazine, December ‘99 Issue
The above mentioned publication was received addressed to
inmate(s) confined in the custody of the Federal Bureau of
Prisons. This publication is being returned in accordance with
the Bureau of Prisons appropriations act, formerly known as the
Ensign Amendment, which states:
None of the funds made available in this Act to the
Federal Bureau of Prisons may be used to distribute or
make available any commercially published information or
material to a prisoner when it is made known to the
Federal official having authority to obligate or expend
such funds that such information or material is sexually
explicit or features nudity.
The enclosed publication(s) contain(s) sexually explicit
information or material or features nudity and is being returned
to you as explained above. If you desire an independent review
of this action you may write Regional Director [Name, Address]
within 20 days of receipt of this letter.
Sincerely,

Warden

PS 5266.10
1/10/2003
Attachment C
NOTIFICATION TO SENDER OF RETURN OF MATERIALS
(TO BE USED WHEN RETURNING A PUBLICATION UNDER SECTION 7.a.(4) OF
THIS PROGRAM STATEMENT)
[Date]

John Doe
123 Anywhere St.
ANYTOWN, STATE ZIP
Re: Return of Materials
The above mentioned material(s) was received addressed to
inmate(s) confined in the custody of the Federal Bureau of
Prisons. This material is being returned in accordance with the
Bureau of Prisons appropriations act, formerly known as the
Ensign Amendment, which states:
None of the funds made available in this Act to the
Federal Bureau of Prisons may be used to distribute or
make available any commercially published information or
material to a prisoner when it is made known to the
Federal official having authority to obligate or expend
such funds that such information or material is sexually
explicit or features nudity.
The enclosed material(s) contain(s) sexually explicit information
or material or features nudity and is being returned to you as
explained above. If you desire an independent review of this
action you may write Regional Director [Name, Address] within 20
days of receipt of this letter.
Sincerely,

Warden

PS 5266.10
1/10/2003
Attachment D
NOTIFICATION TO INMATE OF RETURN OF PUBLICATION OR MATERIALS
(TO BE USED WHEN RETURNING A PUBLICATION UNDER SECTION 7.a.(8) OF
THIS PROGRAM STATEMENT)
Inmate: _______________________
Register Number: ______________
Institution: __________________
RE: _______________________ Issue: ________

The mail room has returned the above mentioned
publication/material to the publisher/sender in accordance with
the Bureau of Prisons appropriations act, formerly known as the
Ensign Amendment, which states:
None of the funds made available in this Act to the
Federal Bureau of Prisons may be used to distribute or
make available any commercially published information or
material to a prisoner when it is made known to the
Federal official having authority to obligate or expend
such funds that such information or material is sexually
explicit or features nudity.
If you are dissatisfied with this decision, you may file an
appeal through the Bureau of Prisons’ Administrative Remedy
Procedure, Bureau of Prisons’ Program Statement 1330.13. A
member of your institutional unit team may be able to provide
assistance or answer any questions you may have in filing your
appeal.

___________________
Signature/Title

____________
Date

 

 

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