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.

Packages

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. 

The rules for packages, including allowed items, frequency, food packages, package weight, etc., are detailed in Department Directive #4911, available here. It is extremely important to review the Directive prior to sending items to an incarcerated individual.

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 – is in the process of being updated. A draft of the updated document is available here.

A list of disapproved vendors can be found here.

The Vendor Package program has been implemented on an incremental basis.  Effective dates are:

Facility

Start Date

Adirondack

6/20/2022

Albion

5/9/2022

Altona

6/20/2022

Attica

5/9/2022

Auburn

6/18/2022

Bare Hill

6/20/2022

Bedford Hills

8/15/2022

Cape Vincent

6/20/2022

Cayuga

6/18/2022

Clinton

6/20/2022

Collins

5/9/2022

Coxsackie

8/15/2022

Eastern NY

6/18/2022

Edgecombe

8/15/2022

Elmira

6/18/2022

Fishkill

8/15/2022

Five Points

6/18/2022

Franklin

6/20/2022

Gouverneur

6/20/2022

Great Meadow

8/15/2022

Green Haven

8/15/2022

Greene

8/15/2022

Groveland

5/9/2022

Hale Creek

6/20/2022

Hudson

8/15/2022

Lakeview

5/9/2022

Marcy

6/20/2022

Mid-State

6/20/2022

Mohawk

6/20/2022

Orleans

5/9/2022

Otisville

6/18/2022

Queensboro

8/15/2022

Riverview

6/20/2022

Shawangunk

8/15/2022

Sing Sing

8/15/2022

Sullivan

6/18/2022

Taconic

8/15/2022

Ulster

6/18/2022

Upstate

6/20/2022

Wallkill

8/15/2022

Washington

8/15/2022

Wende

5/9/2022

Woodbourne

6/18/2022

Wyoming

5/9/2022

Policies

Directive 4911A outlines the package policies for the Vendor Package program.

The Vendor Package program is in place at ALL correctional facilities effective August 15, 2022.

 

Directive 4911A (DRAFT)