An inmate has a right to Legal and Confidential mail which follows different rules for searching. An inmate may correspond confidentially with the following (not a complete list):
- State and Federal elected or appointed officials
- Any practicing attorney
- Officials in the California Department of Corrections, such as the Secretary, Chief Ombudsman, Associate Director, etc.
- The Prison Law Office
- The American Civil Liberties Union
All correspondence addressed to the inmate must have the name of the person, title, return address, and office (i.e. the law office). The envelope does not have to be marked as Confidential, however, it is a good idea. Confidential mail will be opened in front of the inmate and the contents will be shaken to verify there is no contraband. The inmate will sign for all confidential mail at the time of delivery.
Family members and friends may NOT send Confidential or Legal mail to an inmate.