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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • No decision on mail policy

  • The Leavenworth County sheriff said earlier this month that his office might change a policy for how inmates at the County Jail receive mail to avoid possible legal action.
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  • The Leavenworth County sheriff said earlier this month that his office might change a policy for how inmates at the County Jail receive mail to avoid possible legal action.
    But Sheriff Andy Dedeke said there still has been no final decision, and the policy requiring that incoming personal mail for inmates be written on postcards remains in place.
    "The matter is still under review," he said.
    The Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office received a letter from American Civil Liberties Union Sept. 4 asking that the policy be reconsidered. And Dedeke said Oct. 2 that keeping the policy probably was not worth a legal battle with an organization such as the ACLU.
    But Dedeke said Monday that he doesn't want to give in on anything if he doesn't have to. The sheriff said he wants to make sure all options are considered.
    Dedeke said he's been consulting with the county counselor and established case law is being reviewed.
    "The bottom line, we're just trying to make an informed decision," he said.
    Dedeke said the postcard policy is in place to prevent contraband from coming into the jail.
    The policy does not apply to mail sent by the inmates to people outside of the Leavenworth County Jail. It also doesn't apply to mail inmates receive from their attorneys or doctors.
    Last month, a class action lawsuit was filed against the Wyandotte County sheriff concerning a postcard mail policy used in that county. The suit was filed by attorneys for the ACLU Foundation of Kansas and the Social Justice Law Collective. A news release from the organizations argued the policy at the Wyandotte County Adult Detention Center restricts free speech rights.
    Dedeke said the ACLU is aware that his office is reviewing the Leavenworth County Jail's postcard policy.
    "They are aware we have not made a decision," he said.
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