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Title 28 Part 553

Title 28 → Chapter V → Subchapter C → Part 553

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 28 Part 553

e-CFR data is current as of August 13, 2018

Title 28Chapter VSubchapter C → Part 553


Title 28: Judicial Administration


PART 553—INMATE PROPERTY


Contents

Subpart B—Inmate Personal Property

§553.10   Purpose and scope.
§553.11   Limitations on inmate personal property.
§553.12   Contraband.
§553.13   Procedures for handling contraband.
§553.14   Inmate transfer between institutions and inmate release.
§553.15   Limitations on personal property—medical transfers.

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 18 U.S.C. 3621, 3622, 3624, 4001, 4042, 4081, 4082 (Repealed in part as to offenses committed on or after November 1, 1987), 4126, 5006-5024 (Repealed October 12, 1984 as to offenses committed after that date), 5039; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510; 28 CFR 0.95-0.99.

Source: 48 FR 19573, Apr. 29, 1983, unless otherwise noted.

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Subpart A [Reserved]

Subpart B—Inmate Personal Property

§553.10   Purpose and scope.

It is the policy of the Bureau of Prisons that an inmate may possess ordinarily only that property which the inmate is authorized to retain upon admission to the institution, which is issued while the inmate is in custody, which the inmate purchases in the institution commissary, or which is approved by staff to be mailed to, or otherwise received by an inmate, that does not threaten the safety, security, or good order of the facility or protection of the public. These rules contribute to the management of inmate personal property in the institution, and contribute to a safe environment for staff and inmates by reducing fire hazards, security risks, and sanitation problems which relate to inmate personal property. Consistent with the mission of the institution, each Warden shall identify in writing that personal property which may be retained by an inmate in addition to that personal property which has been approved by the Director for retention at all institutions.

[48 FR 19573, Apr. 29, 1983, as amended at 64 FR 36753, July 7, 1999; 80 FR 45885, Aug. 3, 2015]

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§553.11   Limitations on inmate personal property.

(a) Numerical limitations. Authorized personal property may be subject to numerical limitations. The institution's Admission and Orientation program shall include notification to the inmate of any numerical limitations in effect at the institution and a current list of any numerical limitations shall be posted on inmate unit bulletin boards.

(b) Storage space. Staff shall set aside space within each housing area for use by an inmate. The designated area shall include a locker or other securable area in which the inmate is to store authorized personal property. The inmate shall be allowed to purchase an approved locking device for personal property storage in regular living units. Staff may not allow an inmate to accumulate materials to the point where the materials become a fire, sanitation, security, or housekeeping hazard.

(c) Clothing. Civilian clothing (i.e., clothing not issued to the inmate by the Bureau or purchased by the inmate from the commissary) ordinarily is not authorized for retention by the inmate. Civilian clothing which previously had been approved for retention may not be retained after August 6, 1999. Prerelease civilian clothing for an inmate may be retained by staff in the Receiving and Discharge area during the last 30 days of the inmate's confinement.

(d) Legal materials. Staff may allow an inmate to possess legal materials in accordance with the provisions on inmate legal activities (see §543.11 of this chapter).

(e) Hobbycraft materials. Staff shall limit an inmate's hobby shop projects within the cell or living area to those projects which the inmate may store in designated personal property containers. Staff may make an exception for an item (for example, a painting) where size would prohibit placing the item in a locker. This exception is made with the understanding that the placement of the item is at the inmate's own risk. Staff shall require that hobby shop items be removed from the living area when completed, and be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of part 544, subpart D, of this chapter.

(f) Radios and Watches. An inmate may possess only one approved radio and one approved watch at a time. The inmate must be able to demonstrate proof of ownership. An inmate who purchases a radio or watch through a Bureau of Prisons commissary is ordinarily permitted the use of that radio or watch at any Bureau institution if the inmate is later transferred. If the inmate is not allowed to use the radio or watch at the new institution, the inmate shall be permitted to mail, at the receiving institution's expense, the radio or watch to a destination of the inmate's choice. Where the inmate refuses to provide a mailing address, the radio and/or watch may be disposed of through approved methods, including destruction of the property.

(g) Education Program Materials. Education program materials or current correspondence courses may be retained even if not stored as provided in paragraph (b) of this section.

(h) Personal Photos. An inmate may possess photographs, subject to the limitations of paragraph (b) of this section, so long as they are not detrimental to personal safety or security, or to the good order of the institution.

[64 FR 36753, July 7, 1999]

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§553.12   Contraband.

(a) Contraband is defined in §500.1(h) of this chapter. Items possessed by an inmate ordinarily are not considered to be contraband if the inmate was authorized to retain the item upon admission to the institution, the item was issued by authorized staff, purchased by the inmate from the commissary, or purchased or received through approved channels (to include approved for receipt by an authorized staff member or authorized by institution guidelines).

(b) For the purposes of this subpart, there are two types of contraband.

(1) Staff shall consider as hard contraband any item which threatens the safety, security, or good order of the facility or protection of the public and which ordinarily is not approved for possession by an inmate or for admission into the institution. Examples of hard contraband include weapons, intoxicants, and currency (where prohibited).

(2) Staff shall consider as nuisance contraband any item other than hard contraband, which has never been authorized, or which may be, or which previously has been authorized for possession by an inmate, but whose possession is prohibited when it presents a threat to safety, security, or good order of the facility or protection of the public, or its condition or excessive quantities of it present a health, fire, or housekeeping hazard. Examples of nuisance contraband include: personal property no longer permitted for admission to the institution or permitted for sale in the commissary; altered personal property; excessive accumulation of commissary, newspapers, letters, or magazines which cannot be stored neatly and safely in the designated area; food items which are spoiled or retained beyond the point of safe consumption; government-issued items which have been altered, or other items made from government property without staff authorization.

[64 FR 36754, July 7, 1999, as amended at 80 FR 45885, Aug. 3, 2015]

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§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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§553.14   Inmate transfer between institutions and inmate release.

(a) Except as provided for in paragraphs (a)(1) through (3) of this section, authorized personal property shall be shipped by staff to the receiving institution.

(1) The Warden ordinarily shall allow an inmate transferring to another institution to transport personal items determined necessary or appropriate by staff and, if applicable, legal materials for active court cases.

(2) The Warden may require or allow an inmate who is transferring to another institution under furlough conditions to transport all the inmate's authorized personal property with him or her.

(3) An inmate who is being released or who is transferring to a Community Corrections Center may arrange to ship personal property at the inmate's expense. The inmate is responsible for transporting any personal property not so shipped.

(b) If the inmate's personal property is not authorized for retention by the receiving institution, staff at the receiving institution shall arrange for the inmate's excess personal property to be mailed to a non-Bureau destination of the inmate's choice. The inmate shall bear the expense for this mailing.

(c) Whenever the inmate refuses to provide a mailing address for return of the property or, when required, refuses to bear the expense of mailing the property, the property is to be disposed of through approved methods, including destruction of the property.

[64 FR 36754, July 7, 1999]

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§553.15   Limitations on personal property—medical transfers.

The Warden shall set a limit on the amount of personal property that may accompany an inmate transferring to a medical facility. For purpose of this rule, a medical facility is one which provides observation and/or treatment of a medical, surgical, or psychiatric nature, or any combination of these. Such medical transfers are ordinarily of a short-term duration (30-120 days).

(a) The Wardens of the sending and receiving institutions shall allow the inmate to retain those legal materials specifically needed in respect to on-going litigation. Questions as to the need for such material may be referred to Regional Counsel.

(b) The Warden of the sending institution shall designate a secure location for storage of all inmate personal property not accompanying the inmate.

(c) Personal property permitted in the sending institution, but not in the receiving institution, shall either be retained at the sending institution or be mailed to a destination of the inmate's choice.

(1) If the inmate is expected to return to the sending institution within 120 days of transfer, staff shall advise the inmate that property not allowed in the medical facility may be held at the sending institution or sent to a destination of the inmate's choice (other than the medical facility), at the inmate's expense. Where lack of space prevents retention of the inmate's property at the sending institution, that institution shall pay postage costs connected with mailing the inmate's property to a destination of the inmate's choice. Where lack of space prevents the retention of the inmate's property at the sending institution, and the inmate 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.

(2) The inmate's property may be sent with the inmate to the medical facility when the inmate is not expected to return to the sending institution, will be at the medical facility over 120 days, or for any other justified reason. The Warden at the sending institution shall prepare and place in the inmate's central file written documentation for forwarding the inmate's personal property.

(d) The Warden of the medical facility shall return an inmate's personal property ordinarily in the same or equivalent size container as originally used by the sending institution. Property accumulated over that amount, at the option of the inmate, will either be sent to a destination selected by the inmate, at the inmate's expense, donated, or destroyed. If the inmate is financially able but refuses to pay for the mailing, or if the inmate refuses to provide a mailing address for forwarding of the property, the property is to be disposed of through approved methods, including destruction of the property.

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