All About Holiday Package Programs for Inmates

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Everything You Need To Know About Holiday Package Programs for Inmates

How do prisoners get holiday presents? These are important questions for friends and family imprisoned by the state. Through the line of history, prisoners have depended on care packages from their visiting loved ones to get through hard times while imprisoned. But today, security concerns make it impossible to send any hand-packed packages into prisons or correctional centers.

The solution implemented by most states is holiday package programs for inmates. You can send packages to inmates, but only with direct delivery from approved vendors at approved times. DoNotPay can help you get the information you need to send an inmate a holiday care package.

How are Packages Sent to Inmates?

cannot receive hand-packed care packages from friends and family, but they can receive direct orders from approved vendors. For example, inmates often receive books and magazines ordered by loved ones and delivered - newly packed - directly from the vendor.

To send a package to an inmate, you will need their exact inmate address. This includes

  • Inmate ID number
  • Full legal name
  • Correctional center address
  • Housing Unit (in some states and facilities)

However, package contents are often extremely limited - sometimes just to books and magazines except during the holiday package program. During this time, more diverse care packages can be sent through one or two specific approved vendors.

What are Inmate Holiday Package Programs?

Inmate holiday package programs happen once to four times a year. During a limited span of time, loved ones can place care package orders for their inmate through the one or two sellers approved by each facility. This allows friends and family to send food, toiletries and approved personal items to their loved ones without creating a large security concern during the holiday season through gifting.

Most Common Holiday Package Companies

The system works a lot like a school fundraiser program. Friends and family place orders from one approved catalog to build a box within a specific size and weight limit. All the orders are in by the deadline. At an approved time, the care packages ordered will be delivered to the inmates.

How Do You Send a Holiday Package to an Inmate?

To send a holiday package to an inmate, you will need the exact inmate address and complete an order during the order submission window.

  1. Know the Inmate Address
  2. Research the Holiday Package Order Window
  3. Complete a package order within guidelines (cost, weight, etc.)
  4. Wait for package delivery.

Know Your Inmate's Address

Knowing the specific address for your inmate's loved one is necessary. You need their ID number, legal name, and the correction center address. Some centers also require you to address the inmate's exact housing unit. To find this out, DoNotPay can do a quick inmate search by name and state.

Inmate Name, ID Number

​Example State Prison

Street Address or P.O. Box Number

Town, State, Zip

To write a letter to a prisoner, you will also need the complete prisoner address in this form.

Research and Complete an Order within the Window

Once you have the address, you can send a holiday package to an inmate.

Start by researching the correctional center's prison package schedule. Schedules may be by state or facility. Packages can only be ordered during specified order submission windows. A packaged program may occur once to four times a year, depending on the state and facility.

Navigate to your state's inmate package seller and build a box according to the guidelines regarding cost, weight, and contents. Check and submit your completed order.

If your package is approved, it will be delivered to your loved one at the program's designated time. Going through an approved vendor increases the likelihood that all packages will be approved and delivered.

When Can You Order a Holiday Package for an Inmate?

Holiday package programs have set order windows. You will need to check with your loved one's correctional center policies to learn when orders will be accepted. Then make an order through the approved (and probably linked) inmate holiday package provider.

What Can You Send in an Inmate Holiday Package?

It is well-known that care packages to an inmate must be very limited. Only permitted items - and even packaging - will be allowed. How do you make sure your package is fully approved so your inmate can receive it?

Holiday package providers create a catalog of pre-approved items to help loved ones build approvable care packages. Inventory is sorted by state and facility to meet specific approval needs.

Common Holiday Package Content Includes

  • Packaged food and snacks
  • Toiletries
  • Personal care items
  • Clothes and Shoes
  • Prepaid Accounts

Difficulties You May Have Sending Holiday Packages to Inmates

The single biggest problem experienced when sending holiday packages to inmates is the inmate number. In fact, you can't even shop without a valid inmate number. DoNotPay provides a fast and simple way to get the inmate number of your loved ones to write them letters and send care packages.

Wrong Inmate AddressNot having the Inmate ID Number

Mistake in writing the address

Going Outside the Package ProgramMissing your order submission window

Trying to send a non-program package

Sending hand-packed packages

Unapproved package itemsChanges in policy

Special restrictions

Send Holiday Packages to Your Loved Ones via DoNotPay

DoNotPay was founded on the idea of making needful tasks easy. You need to be able to send letters and packages to imprisoned loved ones. The prison system may make this a challenge. DoNotPay is here to make it easy again. Give us your friend's name and the state they are imprisoned in. We'll find their location, housing unit, and the critical inmate ID number so that you can effectively make use of the inmate holiday package program.

We can help you stay in touch with your loved one with secure letter exchanges to give your friend a pen-pal. Our other legal and customer-care-focused services can help you overcome any hurdles regarding prison regulations or problems with your order.

DoNotPay Can Help You Locate Your Imprisoned Friend

  1. Locate the Connect With an Inmate service on DoNotPay.

  2. Choose whether you want to locate a loved one, create a virtual mailbox, or send a personalized letter.

  3. If you want us to find your loved one, provide his or her personal details and the state they are located in. We'll then conduct a search on the appropriate state database.

  4. If you want to create a virtual mailbox, just provide your full name! We'll set one up for you so you can easily receive incoming mail from your loved one.

  5. If sending a personalized letter, tell us which facility your loved one is located in and what you would like to say to them. You can even include a photo! Your letter will be delivered automatically - just wait 10 days for it to arrive to your loved one!

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

DoNotPay can help you beyond a . We're here to make your life easier, save you money, and help you smoothly manage those everyday legal complications like parking tickets and dog bites. Here are just a few of the many other services we have to offer.


DoNotPay can help you send a care package this year through the inmate's holiday package program.

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