Inmate Packages From A to Z

Sending packages to a prison can be tricky because there are some rules and regulations you should be aware of. They may differ in different states and prisons. For example, prisons can allow a different number of items you can send.

We’ll cover the basics of inmate packages so that you can be prepared when you want to send them. For a detailed overview of sending inmate packages in a specific state, check out our articles for:

Things To Bear In Mind Before Sending Inmate Packages


Before preparing a package for a loved one in jail, you should contact the correctional facility they are located in and check the rules for inmate packages.

Some prisons don’t allow surprise packages but require prisoners to submit a package request.

Not knowing the exact location of your family member or friend in prison can slow things down. It’s always best to address your package in detail to make sure it’s delivered to the correct facility.

DoNotPay can help you find a prisoner’s address in no time by following these steps:

  1. Access DoNotPay in any web browser
  2. Pick the Connect With an Inmate option
  3. Tap on Locate Someone
  4. Type in the prisoner’s full name
  5. Enter the state they are located in
  6. Answer a few questions
  7. Hit Submit

What Can I Send in a Package to an Inmate?

The prison staff will inspect all inmate mail. If a package contains any contraband, they will confiscate it. So, it’s wise to know what you can and cannot send to someone in jail:

Items You Can Send to Inmates Items You Cannot Send to Inmates
  • Letters
  • Photos
  • Paperback Books
  • Postcards and greeting cards
  • Clothes for court appearances
  • Newspaper and magazine clippings
  • Pens
  • Cash
  • Food
  • Drugs
  • Razors
  • Jewelry
  • Weapons
  • Cigarettes
  • Cosmetics
  • Hardback books
  • Items containing explicit content
  • Letters with perfume, stickers, or glitter

Sending Photos to a Prisoner

You need to follow a few guidelines if you plan on sending photos to an inmate:

  • They cannot contain any explicit content
  • Photos should be no larger than 4×6 inches
  • You can usually send up to five photos in one envelope at a time
  • You should write the inmate’s name and ID number on the back of the photo

Books, Magazines, and Newspapers

When it comes to sending books, magazines, or newspapers, there are a few restrictions you should be aware of.

All three publications need to be new and come directly from the publisher. This means you can order a book from Amazon and put in the correctional facility as the delivery address. Make sure to include the inmate’s ID number next to their full name when you order a book. Hardback books are unacceptable, so you can only send paperback ones.

Greeting Cards

When choosing an appropriate greeting card to send to someone in prison can be difficult. One rule of thumb you can follow is—the simpler, the better.

Greeting cards cannot contain the following:

  • Glitter
  • Stickers
  • Pop-ups
  • Multiple layers
  • Nudity or explicit content
  • Electronics (e.g., singing cards)

How To Send Inmate Packages

Aside from sending a package through the U.S. Post Office, there are many inmate package vendors you can use. Be sure to check if the facility your loved one is located in approves of the vendor you choose. Here are some of the inmate package services to check out:

When Will My Incarcerated Loved One Receive My Package?

The time it takes to deliver a package to a prisoner varies. It depends on:

  • The sender’s location
  • The prison’s location
  • The Post Office or other service
  • The prison’s package inspection process
  • The number of packages arriving at the same time, which can create a backlog

Usually, packages arrive from a few days to a few weeks. The best thing to do is check with your post office or the service you’re using to send a package. Check the prison’s info as well.

Keep in Touch With Loved Ones in Jail Using DoNotPay

Sending a package to a friend or family in prison is a great way to show your love and support. Aside from this, keeping in touch is crucial in getting through the tough time of being incarcerated. DoNotPay can come in handy here! We have three features that will facilitate the communication between you and a prisoner:

  1. Locating a Prisoner
  2. Sending a Personalized Letter
  3. Using a Virtual Mailbox

Sending a Letter via DoNotPay

Writing a letter to a prisoner can be complicated. There are many details to think about—what to write, how long your letter should be, how to address the letter, etc. DoNotPay’s AI-powered technology has made this process easier. Take your time with the content of the letter, and we’ll make sure all the requirements are met. Check out how it works:

  1. Open DoNotPay in your web browser
  2. Click on Connect With an Inmate
  3. Select Send a Personalized Letter
  4. Enter the name of the person you’re writing to
  5. Fill in their Inmate ID or Booking Number
  6. Answer a few more questions
  7. Write your letter
  8. Add a photo if you want

Once you finish writing your letter, adding photos, and choosing from our special holiday edition templates, we will print out the letter and ensure it gets delivered as soon as possible.

Using DoNotPay’s Virtual Mailbox

Not only can you use DoNotPay to send letters to inmates, but you can also receive and read them in our virtual mailbox. When your incarcerated loved one sends you a letter, we will digitize it, and you’ll be able to access it in your virtual mailbox on DoNotPay’s website.

Other Ways to Stay Connected With an Inmate

Sending letters and packages isn’t the only way to go in terms of contacting a prisoner. Other ways to reach out are:

DoNotPay’s Vast Field of Expertise

Now that you know the ins and outs of sending an inmate package, you can focus on other aspects of your life with a loved one in jail. Reading our articles about prison marriage, inmate love letters, inmate text messages, creative mail ideas, federal inmate phone calls, and sample letters of encouragement to inmates might help make this period easier for you.

Staying in touch with and sending packages to your incarcerated loved one can set you back an astounding amount of money. When you’re overwhelmed with bills, DoNotPay can assist you. Read our articles on getting help for your water bills, electric bills, or medical bills.

DoNotPay is more than your assistant with inmate issues. Visit DoNotPay in a web browser and check out our versatile selection of guides and solutions. DoNotPay is your go-to when you want to: