Frequent questions

Inmate Mail

How do I send in mail to an inmate in prison?

Address it to the inmate's name and prison identification number, if known, and include the address of the prison which they are assigned to.

Correspondence must bear the name and full address of the sender on the outside of the envelope/package. Nick-names and aliases will not be accepted as the name of a sender.

What are inmates allowed/not allowed to receive via mail?

Inmates are allowed to receive letters and postcards via mail. Business/payroll checks, cashier's checks or money orders can also be sent in to an inmate for deposit into their inmate bank account. Do not send cash. It will be rejected. Inmates can also receive approved books and magazines, but only directly from the publisher.

Inmates cannot receive any correspondence from any other inmate housed in a penal or correctional facility (federal, state, county or contract facility) unless the other inmate is an immediate family member. The Deputy Warden or their designee must authorize correspondence between immediate family members.

Items that inmates are not allowed to receive include:

  • Any contraband (items not allowed in prison);
  • Instructions for the manufacture or use of a weapon, explosive, drugs, drug paraphernalia or alcoholic beverages;
  • Items that advocate violence or may cause violence or other serious disruption of the security and disciplined operation of the institution;
  • Materials that illustrate, explain, describe or teach the ability to manipulate a locking device or restraint device;
  • Materials which indicate gang activity;
  • Materials depicting nudity or encouraging sexual behavior that is criminal in nature or detrimental to an inmate's rehabilitation;
  • Threats, blackmail, extortion or similar violations of postal regulations.

Other items you cannot send in to inmates include postage stamps, envelopes, stamped envelopes, stickers, maps, calendars, Polaroid photos, homemade cards or envelopes, musical cards, homemade craft items, and food. Inmates are limited to receiving no more than four small newspaper clippings and no more than four sheets of extra paper unrelated to the correspondence itself (such as drawings, poems, music, etc.).

Free advertising materials, fliers, non-subscriptive third class/bulk rate mail, free catalogs or pamphlets will also not be delivered to inmates.

Is incoming and outgoing mail searched?

Yes. Outgoing general correspondence from an inmate may be inspected and read, unless it is Privileged/Legal correspondence (clearly identified on the envelope or package as meant for an attorney, judge, officer of the court, an organization or entity known to provide legal services to inmates or to governmental officials or agencies which identify the mail as personal or privileged).

Incoming correspondence will be opened and inspected by staff and may be read by staff. Privileged/Legal correspondence is opened in the presence of the inmate and inspected for contraband. It is not read by staff.

Correspondence that is believed to be in violation of criminal law, a Prohibited Act, DOC Policy, facility Operations Memorandum may be confiscated and used as evidence during the disciplinary process.

How does an inmate get paper, stamps and envelopes to send letters?

Inmates have access to those items through the prison commissary. They must purchase these items through the prison commissary.

How do I know a letter I receive is from an inmate?

All outgoing correspondence must bear the inmate's name and ID number as a return address. Nick-names and aliases are not accepted as the name of a sender. Outgoing correspondence that does not contain the proper return address is rejected.

Do inmates have access to the internet and their own e-mail accounts?

No.

What happens to mail that is sent to an inmate and not delivered to them before they are released/transferred?

First class mail may be forwarded to released inmates, provided a forwarding address is available.

Mail that cannot be forwarded will be returned to sender, if the sender is known. Acceptable correspondence will be forwarded to inmates who have transferred to other facilities.