STATEHOUSE – State Representative Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte) sponsored a bill providing additional options for inmates to correspond with their families. Tuesday, the bill passed unanimously out of the Indiana House of Representatives and will now be sent to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
Currently, the Indiana Department of Corrections (DOC) is required to provide stationary, envelopes and postage for offenders in its facilities. Inmates are allowed to send two physical letters per month free of charge. Under Senate Bill (SB) 285, inmates would be given the option to send two free emails per month in place of the two letters.
“I believe this legislation offers a variety of benefits for the state of Indiana,” said Rep. Dermody. “Not only is there potential to save taxpayer dollars, but it also adds convenience to families communicating with inmates. This family communication is not only thought to reduce recidivism, but increasing ones familiarity with digital communication can also better prepare inmates to transition back into society, particularly for those whom have been incarcerated for quite some time.”
The electronic communication would be properly monitored on a time delay and controlled to prevent abuse by inmates.
To learn more about SB 285, please visit iga.in.gov.