Madison County Jail Considers Changing Mail System

Madison County may change its mailing system for inmates after two officers have been exposed to drugs in some mail.

Last month, Chief Deputy Jeff Vaughn said two Madison County jail officers were exposed to ecstasy while examining the inmate’s mail.

As the officers picked up the mail, their fingers began to tingle and grow numb.

“One of them accidentally touched their face, their face started tingling, mouth went numb, scared him half to death,” Vaughn said.

Vaughn said the officers were taken to the hospital where they checked out okay, but his team tested the mail and it tested positive for the synthetic drug, ecstasy.

The stimulant was put on the sticky part of the envelope, which Vaughn said is not an unusual method for drug users to covertly get access to their drug.

“It’s a very common practice. They would take any type of surface that has glue, they would soak it and let it dry,” Vaughn said. “Well, they can open it up and they take that glue and they ink it. The more ink, or the more drug content, the higher they’ll get.”

While the officers have the names of the sender and intended receivers of the contaminated mail, Vaughn said the incident may result in actions that would affect all future inmates of Madison County.

“A lot of jails, I have found out, have already changed to only using postcards. That’s probably a policy we’re going to be looking into,” Vaughn said.

Jackson County jail is one of the jails currently using this form of mailing. Captain Kelle Patterson, Jackson County jail commander, said that system was implemented to prevent the very thing that happened in Madison County.

“The way we do it is (inmates) are not allowed to receive mailed letters due to contraband that we’ve found in the past, so they do postcards with a pre-stamped stamp,” said Patterson.

Patterson said even though they only accept postcards, Jackson County jail officers are expected to wear gloves whenever they’re checking mail. Madison County has the same rules for their jail officers, but Vaughn said he can’t conclude as to whether it was good or bad the officers hadn’t followed regulation.
“That is something that if they had their gloves on, they wouldn’t have been exposed, but then we would not have caught them,” Vaughn said.

By: Chi Warui

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