New mail system to limit access to drugs for Shawnee County inmates

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TOPEKA, KAN. (KSNT) – Shawnee County leaders are working to keep Topeka’s jails drug-free.

The director of the Shawnee County Department of Corrections, Brian Cole, said this a growing problem across the entire country, not just in Topeka.

After seeing an increase in drugs being mailed to inmates, the department turned to technology to help deal with the problem.

The department will now use a completely digital system to get inmates their mail. Securus Technologies, Inc. will open each letter and scan its contents digitally. Inmates will then be able to see their mail on a tablet or digital kiosk from inside the prison.

Currently, employees manually check mail for contraband, but some of the tampered mail goes through to inmates undetected.

“They liquefy K2 and other types of drugs. Methamphetamine and stuff and they liquefy it and they put it in aerosol or some kind of pump spray,” Cole said. “And then they spray it on to the letter or document and it dries.”

With the new digital system, senders will have the option to get the mail returned to them after the company scans the letters.

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