DSH - Metropolitan: Family & Friend Resources

Mail and/or Package Information:

“Mail” is defined as paper documents sent in a standardized sized envelope, manila envelope, or special handling envelope (Priority Mail, Express Mail, etc.) with a weight of under 16 ounces and less than one half inch thick.

“Package” is defined as any item(s) delivered in a box, large manila envelope with bubble wrap, or other container that is not standard envelope size or is more than 16 ounces or one half inch thick.

“Third-Party Mail” is defined as mail addressed to hospital staff or volunteers for delivery to a patient, or mail given to an employee by a patient to mail outside normal hospital mailing procedures.

“Letter” is defined as one-ounce first class mail.

General Procedures for Mail and/or Package Processing:

Mail and/or package addressed to patients at DSH-Metropolitan (Metropolitan State Hospital) shall be delivered from the United States Postal Service to the Hospital Mailroom. Upon receipt, Hospital staff will deliver the mail and/or package to the patient to whom it is addressed in accordance with the hospital’s rules.

LPS - Patients shall receive incoming correspondence unopened; however, for security purposes, all correspondence shall be opened by patients under direct supervision of hospital staff.

Non-LPS - Designated facility employees shall open and inspect all incoming mail addressed to patients for contraband without reading documents.

Mail and Package Distribution Procedure:

To ensure proper and timely delivery, all incoming mail and/or packages must be correctly addressed and should have the following:

Patient’s full name
Patient’s unit number
Metropolitan State Hospital
11401 S. Bloomfield Ave.
Norwalk, CA 90650

All incoming mail and/or packages should have a return address, in the event that the mail and/or package is unable to be delivered.

Delivery or mailing of third-party mail is prohibited, and such mail shall be returned to the sender, unopened, via the Hospital Mailroom and the Treatment Plan Team (TPT) shall be notified. Third class mail (junk mail) that cannot be delivered or returned to the United States Postal Service will be disposed of by the Hospital Mailroom.

All incoming packages must be received through the United States Postal Service and/or common carrier, purchased through a vendor and factory sealed. No packages shall be accepted from visitors.

Patients have the right to receive packages. Designated facility employees shall open and inspect all incoming packages addressed to patients for contraband, without reading written material.

Each package sent and each package received shall not be more than twenty-four (24) inches long by nineteen (19) inches wide by twelve (12) inches high, and shall weigh no more than thirty (30) pounds.

The maximum number of incoming packages shall be limited to each patient’s available storage space.

Patients have the right to decline mail and/or packages.

Packages sent to the hospital that are not within the limits set forth above shall be returned to the sender.

Contraband Items:

In accordance with Welfare & Institutions Code Section 7295, to ensure its safety and security, the Department of State Hospitals has developed a list of items deemed contraband at every state hospital.

A. "Contraband" means materials, articles, or goods that patients are prohibited from having in their possession because such materials, articles or goods present a risk to safety and security in the facility.

B. Items restricted to use only under supervision or control may be considered contraband for the purposes of this list, as they should not be in patient's possession without supervision. All items that are illegal to possess are by default considered to be contraband, whether specifically contained in this list or not. This includes any items prohibited as a condition of parole as it applies to any patient on active parole while housed in a DSH facility.

Statewide Contraband List