SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A new program that allows jail inmates to receive emails is drawing some criticism from relatives of crime victims.

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department says it’s faster and easier for staff to screen the electronic messages, print them up and deliver them to inmates instead of going through individual written letters.

Messages are accepted through the department’s website, but inmates don’t have access to the internet. Responses still have to be sent the old-fashioned way.

“Somebody can correspond to an inmate and that message will get to them virtually the next day,” said Sheriff’s spokesman Jason Ramos.

Derrick Gann, whose son was murdered last year, says the convenient messages are a privilege the inmates don’t deserve while they’re being punished. The suspect accused of killing Gann’s son is in jail awaiting trial next year.

“It’s more accessible for them to talk to someone out here or talk about something that shouldn’t be talked about,” Gann said.

Department officials say the level of contact isn’t really changing and email is screened for threats and gang references.

“Sending an inmate an email virtually eliminates the ability for any contraband from being introduced into the facility,” Ramos said.

Deputies said they received more than 4,000 emails in the first week the service was offered, and they expect that number to rise over time.

Comments (10)
  1. Lew Ninwosix says:

    FIRST !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Mike W says:

    I don’t understand. Why can the PRISONERS receive emails, but not reply back by email, only snail mail? Doesn’t make sense!!!!!!!!

    1. Taya Mello says:

      exactly as long as they are monitored before they send them why not!!?!?!?!

  3. Pakou says:

    I think this is a great idea. This will eliminate extra spending for recycling, trash, wasting money to pay officers to sort through the mails, avoid the chances of the officers to come into contacts with dirty and hazardous mail. Plus this is a more secure way then inmates receiving the actual letter.

  4. pooh69 says:

    i dont why they are getting this privledge. since you started this program you took away the sheriff log for the arrest log. we were well informed of who got arrested. the other log just shows who they want i think the public should be informed. if you do the crime, do the time

  5. Milkman916 says:

    Even if this is safer or it’s saving money I still don’t think it’s enough.
    These people should repay their debts to society by hard labor.
    Put these criminals in the fields,SOMETHING other then just sitting on
    their butts costing taxpayers money. If they try to run while on a
    chain gang,straight shoot them dead. If jail or prison was a nightmare
    then maybe people would seriously think twice before commiting a crime.
    The thought of having to serve tons of years obviously doesn’t work anymore.
    The people doing work project for misdemeanors are actually doing more then the people in prison to pay their debt to society.Thats a sad thing to think about if you ask me…..

  6. barry O. says:

    Instead of letting the criminals sit around, hanging with the homies and playing basket ball, put them on a chain gang, have them picking up trash on the side of the road.

  7. Lisa Marie says:

    Why is it, that if you commit a serious crime you get, free medical, dental and vision care, a hot meal 3 times a day, a hot shower, a bed to lay in, clean clothes, access to outdoor activity, television and an education (should you want one) and you are rewarded for being good? And now we discuss email. I can see how this could save labor (labor = $). But let me ask a question, if we had a system that actually punished people for commiting serious crimes instead of rewarding their bad behavior, wouldn’t this have reduced the labor needed for the jails which in turn sould save money, which means we realistically could have been saving money this entire time. This is the problem from the top on down, why our country, our state is in debt and out of control. What the heck are you people thinking? This is why it doesn’t work, The position of respect that you held long ago has deteriorated over time and you allowed it to happen. Role models you are not and your system will continue to fail as you keep applying band-aids to what is broken, Oh wah! It’s too much work. Oh, wah! Why can’t they have access to email? Are you crazy? You’re a bunch of “lollipops”! THINK people, I know you can figure this out, it’s not rocket science after all.

  8. Robert i love ,miss you so much if u only knew how happy i was to talk to u not being with u makes me sad at the same time this kan only bring us closer, Stronger u make me feel so safe and knowing that i kan trust ,talk 2 u about anything. i tend 2 catch myself in the deepest thoughts about you and how things will be ?Im willin 2 set forth a foundation along goals and plans for us ,robert i believe that there a reason God opend our hearts 4 one another.well babe im sending this with lots of hugs & kisses….God Bless and i love u lots

  9. CHristine says:

    my commment is to the person that said inmates are treated too fairly.ha!!!the conditions of the jail and r.c.c.c. Are far from decent!as a matter of fact they’re down right discusting.the inmates receive only two sets of clothing a week,they r torn,old,they smell!those are just a few of the many dispicable conditions. They don’t provide tampons,the pads they do supply are worthless!the showers don’t drain,half the toilets don’t flush,they are currently serving fruit cups which expired in oct. Of 2011.the bread sometimes is moldy,lunch meat’s cold or should i say beyond cold?the mattresses are nonexisitent.they have no special attention for mental health individual’s.the education is the one thing i can say is a good thing.inmates have the opportunity to better themselves thru education,in the hopes that maybe,(even if it’s only a few) can change their addictive behavior’s and criminal activities.providing individual’s with something they can take home with them,and maybe,set an example for kid’s..

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