Sending mail to an inmate involves a few common sense methods of mailing a letter. Take the matter that every piece of mail that comes into the prison facility will be screened and scrutinized. If your letter does not pass muster then its either thrown away or mailed back to you. This is what you need to know about sending mail to an inmate.
Sending Mail to an Inmate Made Simple
Its important to not what is allowed to be sent to an inmate and we’ll list those here, but you should also know what is not allowed (see: sending mail to inmate). Since every prison or jail has different rules for what type of mail that can be sent to an inmate we have grouped some of the easiest mail rules to follow:
When sending mail to inmates, these items are mostly allowed to be sent to convicts:
- Post Cards
- Cartoons, Jokes and Poems as long as they are not sexually oriented or gang related
- Colorful one-page calendars (meaning all months are on one page)
- Newspaper or magazine clippings of current events – but nothing that includes info of who is being sent to that prison
- Letters on colorful stationary
- Colorful pictures from the Internet
- Crossword Puzzles (on a single sheet of paper)
- Birthday or Greeting Cards that are single fold
- Magazines and Books can be ordered but only sent direct from the publisher or manufacturer
A few rules to follow when sending mail to inmates:
- Only send mail using the US Postal service or state run postal service in your country
- Mail may not be sent with postage due so check your postage
- Hand delivered mail is not allowed
- Clearly write the inmate’s complete name and or inmate number on the letter or package. Do not use nicknames.
- Do not draw gang signs or sexually oriented images on the packaging or the envelope. These will usually be sent back or destroyed.
- Put your return address on the envelope or package
Keep in mind that all mail is opened and inspected – so if you send something that you would not normally show someone (example: naked pictures of yourself) then don’t send them.
Items mailed to inmates with contraband content, either as words or pictures?
Contraband content is anything that may threaten the safety, security, good order of the prison or may be detrimental to an inmate’s rehabilitation. Contraband prison content includes that which:
- Threatens, plans, encourages, instructs in activity that is criminal or violates prison or jail rules
- Could result in physical harm to anyone – inmate or staff member
- Is gang related material
- Is sexually explicit material – the most common reason for confiscating an item based on content
- Is inflammatory material (includes anything that incites or advocates physical violence against others or the supremacy or hatred of a class or group of people)
- Is code or suspected code (can include a foreign language and will be destroyed or sent back if the prison facility mail handlers are unable to find a translator in a reasonable period of time)
- Is fraudulently marked as legal or official mail
Keep in mind that what you send to an inmate can also land you in prison with them. Some facilities will turn over illegal material that is sent to inmates directly to the local authorities for prosecution. It’s great to keep in contact with a friend, pen-pal or relative who is incarcerated, just be sure you Sending Mail To Inmates Policy and you will be able to send inmate mail and packages without worrying if they will receive it or not.