28 CFR 553.13 - Procedures for handling contraband.

§ 553.13 Procedures for handling contraband.

(a) Staff shall seize any item in the institution which has been identified as contraband whether the item is found in the physical possession of an inmate, in an inmate's living quarters, or in common areas of the institution.

(b) Staff shall dispose of items seized as contraband in accordance with the following procedures.

(1) Staff shall return to the institution's issuing authority any item of government property seized as contraband, except where the item is needed as evidence for disciplinary action or criminal prosecution. In such cases, staff may retain the seized property as evidence.

(2) Items of personal property confiscated by staff as contraband are to be inventoried and stored pending identification of the true owner (if in question) and possible disciplinary action. Following an inventory of the confiscated items, staff shall employ the following procedures.

(i) Staff shall provide the inmate with a copy of the inventory as soon as practicable. A copy of this inventory shall also be placed in the inmate's central file.

(ii) The inmate shall have seven days following receipt of the inventory to provide staff with evidence of ownership of the listed items. A claim of ownership may not be accepted for an item made from the unauthorized use of government property. Items obtained from another inmate (for example, through purchase, or as a gift) without staff authorization may be considered nuisance contraband for which a claim of ownership is ordinarily not accepted.

(iii) If the inmate establishes ownership, but the item is identified as contraband, staff shall mail such items (other than hard contraband), at the inmate's expense, to a destination of the inmate's choice. The Warden or designee may authorize the institution to pay the cost of such mailings when the item had not been altered and originally had been permitted for admission to the institution or had been purchased from the commissary, or where the inmate has insufficient funds and no likelihood of new funds being received. Where the inmate has established ownership of a contraband item, but is unwilling, although financially able to pay postage as required, or refuses to provide a mailing address for return of the property, the property is to be disposed of through approved methods, including destruction of the property.

(iv) If the inmate is unable to establish ownership, staff shall make reasonable efforts to identify the owner of the property before any decision to destroy the property is made.

(v) Staff shall prepare and retain written documentation describing any items destroyed and the reasons for such action.

(vi) Where disciplinary action is appropriate, staff shall delay disposition of property until completion of such action (including appeals).

(c) Staff shall retain items of hard contraband for disciplinary action or prosecution or both. The contraband items may be delivered to law enforcement personnel for official use. When it is determined that the item is not needed for criminal prosecution, the hard contraband shall be destroyed as provided in paragraph (b)(2)(v) of this section. Written documentation of the destruction shall be maintained for at least two years.

(d) Staff may not allow an inmate to possess funds in excess of established institutional limits. Staff shall deliver to the cashier any cash or negotiable instruments found in an inmate's possession which exceed the institution's allowable limits. Funds determined to be contraband shall be confiscated for crediting to the U.S. Treasury.

(1) Where disciplinary action against the inmate is appropriate, staff shall delay final disposition of the funds until such action (including appeals) is completed.

(2) Prior to a decision on the disposition of funds, staff shall allow the inmate a reasonable amount of time to prove ownership.

[ 48 FR 19573, Apr. 29, 1983, as amended at 64 FR 36754, July 7, 1999]

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