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Va. DOC mail unit stops 113 pieces of mail containing suspected contraband

“A drug and contraband-free environment is necessary to provide safe and effective incarceration,” VADOC Director Chadwick Dotson said


Virginia Department of Corrections

By Sarah Roebuck

RICHMOND, Va. — Within a span of nine months, the Virginia Department of Correction’s Centralized Mail Unit has stopped 113 pieces of mail containing suspected drugs from entering facilities, VADOC said in a news release.

The mail was stopped between January 1 and September 15, 2023. In 2022, a total of 119 pieces of mail containing suspected drugs were intercepted.

“Incoming mail presents another front in the war against drugs and contraband entering the department’s facilities,” said VADOC Director Chadwick Dotson. “The Virginia Department of Corrections continues to remain vigilant in this fight and continuously improves the screening process to discover new techniques smugglers use to attempt to disguise drugs in mail.”

Many kinds of mail, such as legal correspondence, books, packages, newspapers and even those labeled as religious can potentially be used to conceal illicit drugs. During the period from January 1 to September 15, 2023, authorities seized a total of 20 books and nine packages on suspicion of containing drugs. In comparison, for the whole of 2022, 19 books and five packages were confiscated on similar suspicions.

“I thank our Centralized Mail Unit employees and the OLU for their tireless work in this fight against drugs and contraband,” Dotson said. “A drug and contraband-free environment is necessary to provide safe and effective incarceration, which leads to lasting public safety in the Commonwealth.”

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