2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 17 - CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
CHAPTER 17 - CRIME VICTIMS' BILL OF RIGHTS
§ 17-17-12.1 - Requests to prevent an accused from sending any form of written, text, or electronic communication to the victim's family, or the victim

O.C.G.A. 17-17-12.1 (2010)
17-17-12.1. Requests to prevent an accused from sending any form of written, text, or electronic communication to the victim's family, or the victim


(a) As used in this Code section, the term "mail" means any form of written communication, including, but not limited to, letters, cards, postcards, packages, parcels, and e-mail as defined by Code Section 16-9-100, text messaging, and any other form of electronic communication which is knowingly intended to be delivered to or received by a victim, any member of the victim's family, or any member of the victim's household.

(b) (1) A victim shall have the right to request not to receive mail from an inmate who was convicted of committing a criminal offense against such victim or was adjudicated by the juvenile court of having committed a delinquent act or designed felony against such victim.

(2) A victim's right to request not to receive mail from such inmate shall extend to any member of such victim's family or any member of such victim's household during the term of the sentence imposed or dispositional order for such offense.

(3) As soon as practical following a conviction or adjudication, a victim shall be provided with the instructions for requesting that inmate mail be blocked as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section. If the conviction is from a state or superior court, it shall be the duty of the prosecuting attorney to provide a victim with such instructions. If the adjudication is from the juvenile court, such instructions shall be provided by the juvenile court.

(c) The Department of Corrections and the Department of Juvenile Justice shall develop and provide to the prosecuting attorneys and juvenile courts, respectively, the procedures a victim shall follow in order to block inmate mail. Such procedures may include secure electronic means provided that an alternate, nonelectronic procedure is available for victims without access to a computer. Such departments shall also develop and implement appropriate administrative sanctions which shall be imposed against an inmate violating the provisions of this Code section.

(d) If a victim submits a request to block inmate mail, the Department of Corrections, in the case of an adult, or the Department of Juvenile Justice, in the case of a juvenile, shall:

(1) Notify any other custodial authority having actual custody of the inmate of the names and addresses of such victim and the family or household members denoted by such victim;

(2) Notify the inmate of the request to have mail blocked and advise the inmate that sending mail directly or through any third party to such victim or the family or household members denoted by such victim is prohibited and will result in appropriate sanctions and review of all outgoing mail; and

(3) Institute such procedures to insure that the inmate cannot send mail directly or through any third party to such victim or the family or household members denoted by such victim.

(e) Any custodial authority having actual custody of an inmate with mail restrictions shall not knowingly forward mail addressed to any person who requests not to receive mail pursuant to this Code section.

(f) The imposition of sanctions by a custodial authority pursuant to this Code section shall not preclude the imposition of any other remedies provided by law, nor shall such sanctions bar prosecution of the inmate for any criminal offense which may have been committed in sending such mail.

(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50, information concerning the names and addresses of a victim, and the family or household members denoted by such victim, who requests that inmate mail be blocked shall not be open to inspection by or made available to the public and shall not be subject to discovery in any civil or criminal case or administrative proceeding unless the court, after notice and a hearing, makes a finding of fact that such information is material and relevant to the case and that such information is not available from any other source.

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