ECTOR COUNTY, Texas — The Ector County Detention Center is changing how they do jail mail.
The new system, Mail Guard started this month and is a digital mail delivery system that is going to help the County cut costs.
Now if people want to send letters to inmates, they will be sending them to an address in Florida.
The service there will sort through the mail and then digitally deliver it to inmates in Odessa.
At the detention center, most of the jail cells now have kiosks that inmates can log into to check their mail or they can do it on a tablet.
“That frees up two to three females here that have to go through the mail with gloves and sort through it," Mike Griffis, Ector County Sheriff said. "That’ll free them up so that they can do other things that we need them to do.”
The only paper mail inmates will actually receive will be legal mail. They can expect the same delivery time for their digital mail.
“It’s five days from here to Florida, just like it’s five days from here to Dallas," Griffis said. "It’s not gonna take any longer or hinder them at all."
The sheriff says it is going to be safer for jail staff.
“There may be a razor blades put in the mail or a powdery substance put in the envelope, it’s just a number of things that could be sent in the mail," Griffis said. "It's going to be safer."
The inmate law library is going to become digital too, which will save the county $50,000-$80,000 tax dollars a year.
“We’re going to utilize that area where the library is as offices," Griffis said. "This will be more advantageous for a shift sergeant because he’ll be right out there on the floor."
Officials with the sheriff's department say they are one of the first counties in Texas to implement a system like this.
This change will be effective as of October 16.
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