SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – In an effort to curb a spike in drug smuggling, Orange County jail facilities have begun implementing tough new restrictions on the type of mail that can be sent to inmates.

(O.C. Sheriff’s Department/Facebook)

Beginning Thursday, O.C. jails will no longer accept cardstock and colored paper. Instead, only postcards, lined white paper or plain white paper will be allowed in.

The new restrictions come after canines intercepted 147 greeting cards containing narcotics, most of which had been soaked in meth, between January and May of this year, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department reports.

From January through March, 35 people were caught trying to directly sneak drugs — including fentanyl, meth, heroin, cocaine and marijuana — into O.C. jails by concealing them on their persons, the sheriff’s department reports.

“This is an issue of safety and security,” O.C. Sheriff Don Barnes said in a statement in early July. “We take seriously our charge to provide protection for the inmates in our care, and decreasing contraband and access to it will make our jails safer for inmates, staff and visitors.”

O.C. houses an average of 6,000 inmates in its four jails.

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