The Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office makes every effort to cooperate when facilitating media request for inmate interviews. The following are a list of policies and procedures we will follow to accommodate these request.
The Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office facilitates all requests for interviews with inmates incarcerated within the corrections facility. Request for interviews must be placed in writing, preferably at least 48 hours in advance and sent to this office. While the 48 hours is preferable, on rare occasions, interviews can happen more quickly than that depending on the inmate’s response time and staffing availability. That is the exception, not the rule. Note: We understand the nature of deadlines, but it is not departmental policy to compel any inmate into making a quick response.
The request letter should include the name of the requestor, the name of the media outlet, the name of the inmate, and any equipment that you may need to use (i.e. tape recorders, cameras, etc.). The letter should include the names of all media representatives that would participate in the interview, with a maximum of two allowed.
The inmate requested to be interviewed shall receive a copy of the written request and a Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office interview consent form. The inmate agrees or disagrees and the signed consent form is returned to the jail administrator, and the sheriff’s office public information officer .If the inmate agrees, a time can be scheduled. The interview will preferably be scheduled Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., but exceptions may be made with the approval of the jail administrator.
Inmates are under no obligation to accept interviews. It is their choice. If an inmate declines to be interviewed further requests to the same individual from the same media outlet or representative will not be forwarded to that inmate for at least 30 days.
Inmates may request that members of the media be placed on their inmate visitation list. Media representatives should not request to be placed on an inmate’s visitation list without the inmates consent. Note: Addition to an inmate’s visitation list requires all media representatives be subject to normal policies of the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office regarding inmate visitation. No recording devices shall be allowed or used during regular visitation. This is for the protection of other inmates and their families.
Media may write to inmates who are incarcerated in the Kaufman County Law Enforcement Center and inmates may choose to respond or disregard that correspondence .Department staff will not pass on messages to inmates to find out if they received the correspondence. Note: It is departmental policy to screen all mail coming from and going to the facility to check for contraband, other than legal correspondence which is considered privileged and will be opened in presence of the inmate.
Media may not telephone an inmate incarcerated in the facility. The inmate has a telephone or the ability to access one most of the time, there are a few exceptions. All inmate calls will be collect calls and are recorded, with a recording advising both parties of such recording.
Inmates are not allowed any contact visits at any time. No exceptions.
Inmates who are under disciplinary review often lose visiting and/or other privileges. During that time period media interviews for that inmate will be prohibited. Note: correspondence may still be exchanged in most cases.
The Kaufman Sheriff’s Office makes every effort to allow reasonable free expression and discussion between media and inmate. Generally, staff will not intrude on the interview. However, media should be aware that equipment searches and staff observation may occur at any time. Media could also be removed from the facility at any time if any rules violations occur or someone’s personal safety is at risk.
Media interviews will occur in the visitation room of our facility or in another area designated by the jail administrator so that it shall not disrupt the orderly operation of the correctional facility. Interviews are prohibited in the inmate’s cell, housing unit, recreation area, or any other location that may be deemed a security concern for the facility. Cameras and/or other recording devices are permitted in the designated area as long as it is coordinated in advance.
Members of the media cannot give items to inmates during an interview. Likewise, inmates cannot give items to a media representative during the interview. The inmate has the right to terminate the interview at any time.
The media outlet must supply the Kaufman Sheriff’s Office with an unedited copy of the interview to be agreed upon in advance.
While we agree on the importance of keeping the public and the audience of the news media informed about what we do, we have developed these policies to allow as much public access as possible while maintaining a high level of security. We appreciate your cooperation.