Reader: Delayed mail to prison; “mail is so much more than paper”

Hello, my name is Angelika Schauer and I have a loved one incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison.

I know to most people who are not impacted by incarceration they are just inmates, but to me as well as many others these men are family. Husbands, sons, brothers, fathers.

Mail at that facility is extremely backed up, and I’m talking MONTHS. Some of it straight up seems to vanish. This includes legal mail, property packages, as well as important forms and paperwork.

Within the past weeks I have sent to my loved one the following: A letter that contained a list of important addresses and phone numbers that he needs to have in his possession. He did not receive it. A copy of our Power of Attorney documents that he needs to have put in his file. He did not receive it. A CDCR 7385 medical release form that I need him to fill out so I’ll be notified in case something were to happen to him. He did not receive it. Legal advice that is crucial for him to have in order to prepare for his resentencing. He did not receive it. Writing material such as envelopes and stamps. He did not receive those either. Not to mention our personal written correspondence that has not been able to take place at all.

Cal. Code Regs. Tit. 15 § 3133 (a) (1) states: „[…] All First-Class Mail shall be delivered to the inmate as soon as possible, but not later than seven calendar days from receipt of the mail at the facility mailroom.“ This is clearly not the case here.

Now besides this being just inconvenient, it also adds a level of stress and anxiety to both mine and my loved one’s lives that impacts us every day. I’ll be honest I’ve lost a lot of sleep over this situation, since mail has always been our main way of communication.

While inquiring about this issue and bringing it to peoples’ attention, I got to talk to so many others who are impacted by the situation just as we are. I talked to a mother who told me she has given up on writing letters to her son, she said it’s no use anyway, he never receives them. I talked to wives who have not been able to send their husbands pictures of their children.

Staying in regular touch with their families is crucial to the incarcerated. It gives them a sense of normality, it makes them feel in touch with their families and the outside world. Mail is therefore a means to reduce violence on the inside, it makes people feel human and it makes them feel cared about. A handwritten letter can mean the world if you’re locked up.

Mail is so much more than just paper, both to those on the inside as well as to us out here.

The responsible parties do not seem to care or straight up lied too my face when I called them, telling me this is not true. Another time I called, I was told they’re processing certified mail first so that people are not able to create a timeline of how long mail really takes. Say what?! Well I think I’ve written enough. If this is of any interest to you, I’d appreciate it if you could look into this matter.

Thank you for your time.


Angelika Schauer

4 thoughts on “Reader: Delayed mail to prison; “mail is so much more than paper”

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  1. To those who will seek to minimize this it sounds like it is not a matter of slow mail delivery that all of us on the outside are experiencing, it is a matter of no delivery of mail whatsoever. You might want to contact Corcoran and see if it is possible to hand deliver the documents to him for signing (not sure what yard he is on) and if not then I suggest that you have his attorney take the documents to him for signing. They normally do not refuse an inmate to meet with his attorney. In the meantime I suggest you continue working “with” Corcoran in good faith to find resolution to this problem. Good luck.

  2. I agree, I sent my loved one mail from back in early October and he just received it on November 17 thats insane.

  3. I have sent 4 letters including family pictures as early as Oct.16th that have still not been received by my loved one. I have called the Mail room and they told me, they are low staff and that’s why they are behind. However, there are days mail doesn’t even get to his yard at all. He tells me, the COs will say there was no mail at all, not just for him, but his ENTIRE yard. That makes no sense. There have been multiple days that mail has not been taken to his yard on 4B. He said COs have even stating the mail room isn’t filling the bags up. This is ridiculous and needs to get figured out.

    • I wonder if anyone has checked the status of mail being delivered on yards other than 4A or 4B? There should be no discrimination between yard levels when it comes to inmate’s rights regarding mail delivery.

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