How To Write An Inmate

How to write an inmate

Do you have questions about how to write an inmate? Family members want to write letters but often have no idea about the rules regarding mail within a prison or jail facility. This is a place you can receive answers your questions about sending and receiving mail from an inmate.

Where do you get the mailing address? You can look up on this web site to find the mailing addresses of federal and state facilities as well as most county jails. If you cannot find a mailing address, call the facility and ask them to give you the correct address.

How should I address the letter? Typically, you will use this format:

  • Inmate name and inmate number
  • Facility name
  • Facility address
  • City, State and Zip code
Be sure you include a full return address. Most facilities will not deliver mail without a return address.

How can I find the inmate number? An inmate number can be found on this web site. Search for the prison or jail and find the inmate name. Numbers are given on the same page. In the event you cannot find a number, call the facility and ask for the number.

Can I write to someone on behalf of an inmate? This is a really bad idea. Anyone who is asking you to forward mail or write to someone on their behalf is asking for trouble. Sometimes there are court mandated restrictions that inmates cannot contact certain people. Never write or send material on behalf of one inmate to someone else.

Two other important points. First, some facilities do allow email between inmates and families. It is usually cheaper than stamps and quicker. If I know about this availability, I will include it in the prison/jail information on this web site.

Secondly, there are prison/jails that do not allow mail contained in envelopes but only allow for postcards to be mailed to inmates. Be prepared that this could be the rule where your loved one is incarcerated.

There are usually strict rules as to what can and cannot be placed in an envelope to be mailed to an inmate. Be sure to read the rules!

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