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members to mail hygiene and cleaning supplies to relatives incarcerated in the Department of Corrections was quickly rescinded by the director who apparently did not have knowledge of the directive prior to it being issued by the warden.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 But DOC Major Antone Augon stated that the memo had to be rescinded.
“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.
“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Aguon added that while the memo was rescinded, they are looking at rolling out a drive-thru incoming program that will allow families to drop off approved products at the Mangilao facility without having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.