Sending Mail

Generally, correspondence is allowed and encouraged. The sending and receiving of mail will be restricted only to the extent necessary to prevent a threat to the safety and security of the facility, to ensure the safety or well being of any person, and to prevent unsolicited and unwanted mail.

PLEASE NOTE: incarcerated individuals may not correspond with any person on their negative correspondence list or on a court Order of Protection prohibiting such correspondence.

Sending obscene, threatening, or fraudulent materials through the mail may be a crime under state and federal laws. The Department will urge prosecution whenever such mail is brought to its attention.

You are personally responsible for the contents of any mail you send into the correctional facility. Unauthorized items will either be returned to the sender at the expense of the incarcerated individual, or otherwise disposed of; this will be the choice of the incarcerated individual and accomplished at the incarcerated individual's expense.

PLEASE NOTE: Dangerous contraband will not be returned.


All mail sent to the incarcerated individual must be clearly marked with the incarcerated individual's name and Department Identification Number (DIN), and the sender's return address in the left top corner of the envelope. Envelopes may include personal letters and photographs.

Do not send:

  • nude photographs
  • Polaroid photos
  • postage stamps
  • letters from other people, except children

A limit of five pages of printed or photocopied materials may be received within a piece of regular correspondence. An individual newspaper clipping will be considered one page. To facilitate media review, do not tape, glue or paste clipping or pages together or to other pages.

Not to exceed once every four months, incarcerated individuals may request in writing to the Superintendent for approval to receive more than five pages of printed or photocopied legal papers within a piece of regular correspondence specifically relating to their current legal matter, including legal briefs or trial transcripts related to the incarcerated individual's active case. If approved, the correspondence must be received within 30 days thereafter.

Incoming mail will be opened and inspected for cash, checks, money orders, printed or photocopied materials, or contraband.

Monies are credited to the incarcerated individual's account. Printed or photocopied materials may delay receipt due to Media Review procedures.

Mail you receive from an incarcerated individual should be well marked with the individual's DIN, correctional facility address, and other clear indications that the letter is from a correctional facility.


Most DOCCS correctional facilities allow incarcerated individuals to receive packages.  A few facilities, specifically, Shock Incarceration, Drug Treatment Program, Work Release, CASAT, and I-ASAT, do not allow packages. 

In a continuous battle to prevent contraband from getting into DOCCS’ correctional facilities and maintaining security and safety for both staff and the incarcerated population, the Department has revised its policy concerning packages and articles received through facility package rooms.

Packages and articles will only be allowed to be received directly from vendors via U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, UPS, etc. Packages will no longer be allowed to be brought to the facility during visits or mailed directly to the facility from family or friends.  Department Directive#4911 – Packages & Articles Sent to Facilities – outlines these changes.


Disapproved vendors