Sheriff Bill Brown,
We, the undersigned, urge you to immediately overturn the decision to ban letters, photos, drawings, and other forms of mail to County Jail inmates. The postcard-only policy is wrong and harmful to the families, friends, and loved-ones of incarcerated people, and to Santa Barbara County as a whole. We ask that you respect and protect the communication rights of imprisoned people and their communities.
Letters are the primary means of contact for an inmate with friends and family. They are the glue that holds families and relationships together through the ordeal of incarceration. The jail's current provision of communication and visitation options is desperately inadequate, and this policy will only make things worse. An inmate’s only phone access is expensive collect calls that are beyond the means of many people, and the jail’s visiting hours often do not accommodate an inmate’s working family, especially those who cannot reach the jail due to scarce and expensive public transportation.
Every human being has the right to communicate to family and loved ones, whether they are imprisoned or free. Everyone in Santa Barbara County Jail deserves the photos of family, love letters, drawings from children, and other forms of mail that provide hope and healing in the darkest times.
Sheriff Brown - Drop the Ban! We have a right to write.