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Prisons check privilege abuse

15 May 06

Safeguards against abuse by prisoners of the arrangements for handling privileged correspondence

Prison governors have become aware that some prisoners are attempting to subvert the arrangements for handling privileged correspondence by “recycling” envelopes which have been received containing privileged correspondence. It appears that some of these envelopes are being posted out from the prison to be used again, typically in an attempt to introduce drugs into prison.

Under a circular from the Assistant Director of Prisons, establishments should prevent this abuse by ensuring that all envelopes identified as containing privileged correspondence are clearly stamped “Privileged Correspondence Received”. This applies both to external envelopes addressed to the governor and any sealed envelopes inside, under the “double enveloping” approach.

A previous circular contains guidance on how to deal with ostensibly privileged correspondence suspected of containing prohibited articles.