Resident Mail

Residents may send and receive mail.

To mail a letter or package to a resident, the address is:

Resident Name (include Unit if known)
Florida State Hospital
P.O. Box 1000
100 N. Main St.
Chattahoochee, FL 32324-1000

Outgoing Mail:

  (1) Letters: Indigent residents are authorized to mail three (3) letters per week at hospital expense, there is no limit on legal mail. All other letters will be mailed at the expense of the resident. Units will monitor all letters to insure that the resident’s name and unit are on the return address and that there is a proper mailing address. Letters with incomplete addresses will be returned to the ward/pod for correction.

  (2) Packages: Residents wishing to mail a package will give it to the ward/pod/unit staff for examination of contents to ensure there are no state properties, trash, etc., in the container. The package will then be wrapped and addressed by ward/pod/unit staff, who will determine how the resident wishes the package to be mailed (regular/airmail, and if insured - for what amount). Mailing address must have name, street address/post office box, state, and zip code on both to and from addresses. Units will obtain necessary funds from the resident's account and mail package. Unit staff will prepare a memorandum authorizing Florida State Hospital Mail Room staff to mail package for resident.

Incoming Mail:

  (1) Upon delivery of mail by Florida State Hospital Mail Room staff, the mail will be sorted and given to the appropriate staff. The designated person(s) will be provided with pre-numbered receipts (obtained from Cashier's Office). Any mail received after regular designated business hours will be held by the Unit Treatment Rehabilitation Specialist Supervisor II/designee and given to the Medical Unit Supervisor/designee the next business day for distribution.

  (2) The designated person(s) will log each piece of mail, including magazines, hospital mail, check stubs, and receipts, noting the receipt number on the Mail Log, Florida State Hospital Form 316. The designated person(s) will be provided with pre-numbered Cash/Deposit Receipts.

  (3) Resident mail will be given out once a day by the designated person(s) and the ward supervisor/designee. The time frame for which mail is delivered may vary depending on when the mail is actually delivered to the unit, time to sort and log mail, volume, etc.

  (4) The designated person(s) will have each resident receiving mail come to a designated area where the resident will sign the log acknowledging receipt of mail. Residents who are unable to sign his/her name may make a mark or an "X". Resident making a mark will be witnessed by the signature of two (2) employees.

  (5) Letters will be opened by the resident in the presence of the designated person(s) and ward supervisor/designee. Staff will not read communication, but will check for valuable items, contraband, drugs, cash, checks, money orders, etc.

  (6) Valuable items will be turned over to ward staff, who in turn, will prepare Inventory/Receipt of Resident’s Tangible Personal Property (Form 415), and will give a copy to the resident. The original Form 415 will be turned over with the valuables to the Medical Unit Supervisor or designee for disposition. The Medical Unit Supervisor or designee will return the original Form 415 to the ward for filing in the resident's ward chart.

  (7) Contraband and/or drugs will be delivered to the Unit Director/designee, who in turn will notify Security if deemed necessary.

  (8) The designated person(s) will be responsible for ensuring that ALL money (i.e., cash, checks, money orders) received through the mail or brought in by visitors for the residents is receipted. They will ensure the resident is given a pre-numbered receipt (gold copy) provided by the Cashier's Office, for all money received in the mail. No resident (Civil or Forensic) is allowed to have cash in their possession. All deposits will be turned in to the Medical Unit Supervisor/ designee for depositing in the Cashier's Office by the next working day. All funds will be kept in a secure locked location.

  (9) A unit pre-numbered receipt shall be issued at the time funds are received. At no time shall funds be accepted by an employee unless they are able to issue a prenumbered receipt upon acceptance of the funds.

  (10) After money has been deposited in the Cashier's Office, three (3) copies of the prenumbered receipt are returned to the unit. The yellow copy will be written on Mail Log and then given to the resident, the blue copy will be attached to the Mail Log and the pink copy will be filed by the Medical Unit Supervisor/designee for auditing purposes.

  (11) If a resident refuses mail, "Refused" will be noted in the space for the resident's signature. The mail will then be returned to the Medical Unit Supervisor and reissued for three (3) consecutive days. If the resident refuses after the third day, it will be returned to the sender by the Medical Unit Supervisor/designee.

  (12) If the mail is not picked up by the resident during the specified time frames due to outside appointments, off campus trips, etc., the mail may be held for pick up the same day. If the resident does not return to pick up mail by the time designated, the designated person will note on the Mail Log "Not On Ward" and return the mail to the Medical Unit Supervisor/ designee. This mail will be returned to the ward the next business day. Resident mail will not be stored, held or kept on the ward under any circumstances.

  (13) The designated person(s) will be responsible for ensuring that all items on the Mail Log are completed. This includes the resident's name, received from, check if mail was letter or package, amount of money received and resident's signature or other disposition.

  (14) It is the designated person's responsibility for ensuring that the completed Mail Log is turned in daily to the Medical Unit Supervisor/designee by the time designated by the unit. The Mail Log will be maintained for one (1) year.


  (1) In civil units, packages will be opened by the resident in the presence of the designated person(s) and ward supervisor/designee.

  (2) Florida State Hospital Form 415 will be completed on items received, identifying the disposition of the items. Copies of the form will be given to the resident with the original filed in the chart.

  (3) In Forensic Units, all packages will be received by Security. Security will screen and distribute packages to the residents during the evening hours. Security will notify the applicable ward/pod that a resident has a package. The ward/pod staff will escort the resident to Security to receive the package. The packages will be opened in front of the resident by Security and contents will be thoroughly screened for contraband.

     (a) Contraband items will be either destroyed by Security if appropriate, or given to the Medical Unit Supervisor/designee for placement in resident's personal effects. The Medical Unit Supervisor/designee will sign for items from Security.

     (b) Items placed in personal effects will be cataloged and secured by unit staff. The units shall be responsible for either returning items to sender or in the case of dangerous items, securing their placement. Security will maintain a package receipt containing the following minimum data: date received, resident name/number, name and address of sender, detailed inventory of contents, resident's signature for package and signature of witness.

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