DOC rescinds memo allowing mailing of hygiene products; may open drive-thru instead

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Department of Corrections (PNC file photo)

A memo allowing family members to mail hygiene and cleaning supplies to relatives incarcerated in the Department of Corrections was quickly rescinded by the director who apparently did not have knowledge of the directive prior to it being issued by the warden.

The memo was issued last week, on May 6, in light of the pandemic, and it was signed by Warden Allen Borja and two others. But DOC Director Joe Carbullido did not sign off.

The memo related to parcel packages and allowed families of those incarcerated to send hygiene products through the mail to inmates and detainees.

According to a source within the prison, the memo is posted in all posts of the prison. But DOC Major Antone Augon stated that the memo had to be rescinded.

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“There are several reasons why we had to look at this whole process that was approved. When family members send in a package, for example, and we tell them these are the only items permitted. But oftentimes we have packages that will contain products or items that are not authorized,” Aguon said.

Aguon says they don’t want to be stuck with those unauthorized items or having to pay postage for it to be sent back to the family member.

He also says some families called expressing their dismay in having to pay for shipping. Although the memo was active for only a day, families of inmates were advised of the memo and some ran out to get the items, sending them through the mail as directed.

Aguon confirmed that they have received packages but according to PNC’s source those packages never reached the inmates. However, Aguon denies this claim.

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“No, I mean, what’s going to happen is for packages that have already been sent as a result of that memo that went out on the 6th. When we do receive the packages we will go ahead and have the packages inspected and take out the items that are authorized and give that to the inmate,” Aguon said.

Aguon added that while the memo was rescinded, they are looking at rolling out a drive-thru incoming program that will allow families to drop off approved products at the Mangilao facility without having to get out of their cars.

He says they hope to start the program this week as soon as the safety precaution measures are worked out.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.