Title 37, Chapter 3, Section 142
(a) Each patient in a facility shall have the right to communicate
freely and privately with persons outside the facility and to
receive visitors inside the facility.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, each patient
shall be allowed to receive and send sealed, unopened mail; and no
patient's incoming or outgoing mail shall be opened, delayed, held,
or censored by the facility.
(c) If there are reasonable grounds to believe that incoming mail
contains items or substances which may be dangerous to the patient
or others, the chief medical officer may direct reasonable
examination of such mail and, after examination, may regulate the
disposition of such items or substances found therein. All writings
must be presented to the patient within 24 hours of inspection.
(d) The chief medical officer may apply to the court for a temporary
order to restrict outgoing mail. If the court determines that
probable cause exists that such mail is dangerous to the patient or
others, the court may order such mail temporarily restricted,
provided that a full and fair hearing shall be held within five days
after the issuance of such temporary order to determine whether or
not an order of restriction for an extended time shall issue. In no
event shall mail be restricted pursuant to such temporary order for
more than five days after the date of the temporary order. A full
and fair hearing shall be held after the issuance of the temporary
order. If, at such hearing, the patient's outgoing mail is
determined to be dangerous to the patient or others, the court may
order such mail restricted for an extended period not to exceed 30
days. Restrictions for extended periods may be renewed for
additional periods not to exceed 30 days each, provided that no such
restriction shall be renewed except upon a renewed finding at
another full and fair hearing for each such renewal that such mail
is dangerous to the patient or others.
(e) If an injunction against the sending of mail by a patient is
issued by a court, the chief medical officer shall restrict outgoing
mail as provided by the order of the court.
(f) No restriction of either incoming or outgoing mail under
subsection (c) or (d) of this Code section shall exceed a period of
five days, notwithstanding the authority to restrict such mail for
longer periods, provided that such restrictions may be continued as
necessary for periods not to exceed five days each upon
determination by the chief medical officer, prior to each
continuation, that such mail continues to be dangerous to the
patient or others; provided, further, that, in the case of outgoing
mail, such continuation periods in the aggregate shall not exceed
the restriction period authorized in the court order.
(g) Correspondence of the patient with his attorney shall not be
restricted in any manner under this Code section. Correspondence of
the patient with public officials shall not be restricted in any
manner under subsection (c) of this Code section.
(h) Each time a patient's incoming mail is ordered examined by the chief medical officer and each time a patient's outgoing mail is ordered examined by a temporary court order, written notice of such order and notice of a right to a full and fair hearing within five days after such temporary court order shall be served on the patient and his representatives as provided in Code Section 37-3-147. A voluntary patient may waive in writing such notice to his representatives.
(i) The circumstances surrounding the examination of any mail under
subsection (c), (d), (e), or (f) of this Code section shall be
recorded on the patient's clinical record.
(j) The chief medical officer is authorized to establish reasonable
regulations governing visitors, visiting hours, and the use of
telephones by patients.