RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Department of Correction’s (VADOC) Centralized Mail Unit is stopping the flow of drugs and contraband into its facilities with the use of mail screenings.

The unit is part of the VADOC’s Operations and Logistics Unit, or OLU. This division screens all incoming mail addressed to inmates in facilities across the state.

The department says suspected drugs can be disguised in various types of mail such as legal mail, books, packages and more.

This year alone, the Centralized Mail Unit halted 113 pieces of mail containing suspected narcotics from entering facilities from Jan 1. to Sept. 15. This total is nearing the number of pieces found last year, when the department reported 119 pieces of mail containing suspected drugs were intercepted.

A total of 20 books and nine packages were confiscated for containing drugs, which is an increase from the 19 books and five packages found in 2022.

“Incoming mail presents another front in the war against drugs and contraband entering the department’s facilities,” said VADOC Director Chadwick Dotson. “The Virginia Department of Corrections continues to remain vigilant in this fight and continuously improves the screening process to discover new techniques smugglers use to attempt to disguise drugs in mail.”