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I wanted to have at least one of every room in my prison, to make a better environment for my inmates. This includes a mail room. I know that mail helps ease the 'Family' need, but I'm seeing more contraband smuggled in via mail sacks than anything else. This is after I have dogs and metal detectors all over the place. I even have a dog in the mail room, and a metal detector just outside. Is it worth the trouble of searching (manually) all those damn mail sacks, or should I just install phones everywhere and let the inmates call their loved ones?

Edit: this is the kind of thing I'm talking about. I had a 100% coverage CI tell me about contraband, and at least 75% of these mail sacks had tools, weapons, and drugs in them. I had to search them manually. (And this is about half of what I usually see in the deliveries section.)

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No, mail rooms are optional. Visitation and Phones are sufficient to fulfill the Family need, as long as inmates have enough time to use them (Hint: when you place phones in your Yard, prisoners can also use them during yard time).

But keep in mind that if you want to fulfill all the needs of your prisoners, then this includes alcohol and drugs. Addicts on withdrawal can cause more problems than inmates who miss their family. So letting a bit of contraband in can result in a quieter prison. You still might want to control weapons, but almost all weapons can be detected by metal detectors.

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    I actually don't mind drug and alcohol use for the most part. If the dogs catch them, they'll get their solitary stint, but I mostly search for tools that are used for digging, and weapons. Unfortunately, the wooden pickaxe is caught by neither dogs nor metal detectors, and it's been at the base of several tunnels so far. They haven't made it out side the wall yet, but I also do shakedowns during sleep time about every 4 or 5 days. They seem to not mind as much when they're half asleep. Thanks for the feedback. – Tim S. Sep 14 '16 at 16:59

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