Inmate accused of sending explicit letters to teen - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Inmate accused of sending explicit letters to teen

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MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – Mail sent to inmates at the Shelby County division of corrections on Mullins Station Road is inspected to prevent contraband from entering the prison.

However, letters and such sent from inmates to the outside world are generally not examined.

"We don't look at letters that are outgoing simply because it's personal business between the inmates and who they're writing to," said Shelby County spokesman Steve Shular.  "It's freedom of speech."

43 year-old inmate Byron Chism's letters may now be limited after police say he sent sexually explicit correspondence to a 16 year-old girl.

"We'll be looking specifically for a court order that will prevent him from writing that young girl again," said Shular.

According to court records, Chism sent three letters to the teenager.  One of the letters included graphic sexual language.  All of them were stamped "inmate mail" and included Chism's prison identification number.

The letter containing explicit language was intercepted by the teen's mother who reported it to Memphis Police.  Action News 5 contacted the county after discovering Chism was an inmate already serving time for a drug-related conviction.

"We'll certainly be looking at any letter writing that inmate may be doing from this point on," Shular said.

Police say Chism told them the letters were meant for someone else.  The teen's family said Chism once dated one of the teen's older cousins.

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