Marquette County Jail switches to e-messaging system

By  | 

MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - The purpose of this press release is to clear up some misconceptions regarding the change in receiving mail for Marquette County Jail inmates.

Effective December 1, 2018, the inmates at the Marquette County Jail are no longer allowed to receive mail through the United State Postal Service. To communicate with an inmate, individuals must log on to to send an e-message.

In the past, corrections officers would open, inspect and deliver the mail to the inmates. The reason for this change is that over the years we have had trouble with drugs coming through the mail. It has evolved from just sending drugs in their form, which was usually caught, to soaking paper with Suboxone, which then dries and is undetectable. The mail is then distributed to the inmates, who would eat the paper and give them a similar “'high.' Additionally, drugs have been hidden under stamps and on the glue of the envelope. In short, mail has become an additional way for drugs to get into the jail, which is an enormous liability to the County of Marquette.

Another issue with the previous mail system was third party mailing, during which someone with a personal protection order gets around it by including messages with other mail that would be given to the protected person by a cell mate.

Due to these issues, an alternative to the current system was sought. In speaking with other counties, some only allow postcards. We felt that was more of an inconvenience to the sender, so we opted for the e-messaging system.

E-messaging works like this: The sender goes to the website,, and creates an account. They then type, like an email, what they want to send and it gets delivered to an electronic mailbox at the jail. Every day during midnight shift, the emails are printed out, sorted and distributed to the inmates the next morning. The cost for an email is 50 cents for up to two full pages of text. If they would like to add a picture, we can print those as well for 50 cents each.

The advantages to the sender include: Not needing postage stamps and envelopes or the need to go to a mailbox to get the letter out. Now, they can send messages from their phone or laptop. It is more convenient, about the same cost and the message will get to the inmate in less time.

Legal mail and clergy mail will continue to be accepted through the United States Postal Service. Additionally, our policy will allow for circumstances that may require a post office delivery rather than e-messaging.

Finally, there is no change to outgoing mail. Inmates may still send out letters and will be sent through the post office as before.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus