All You Need To Know About Ohio’s Prisons and Jails

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

All You Need To Know About Ohio’s Prisons and Jails

DoNotPay can show you everything you need to know about writing letters to inmates. Our unique product can help you locate an inmate, receive mail from an incarcerated individual, and show you how to address a letter to an inmate properly.

is one of the largest prison systems in the country, housing more than 50,000 inmates. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) manages 28 state prison facilities and 86 county jails in the Buckeye state.

Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP), established in 1834, is the largest prison with 502 beds. Housing the most dangerous criminals, the Level 5 maximum-security prison has been located at 878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road in Youngstown since 1998.

Getting in touch with someone incarcerated in such an enormous prison system is not always easy. DoNotPay eliminates the hassle of finding contact information for inmates in the system. The convenient automated system makes writing to a prisoner stress-free and connecting with a loved one or friend easier than ever.

How Hard Is it to Contact an Inmate?

Unfortunately, sending correspondence to inmates in is not easy. Letters often get returned because they:

  • Are in the wrong size or type of envelope
  • Do not have the proper inmate identification number
  • Have an incorrect or missing unit number from the address
  • Included contraband such as staples, paper clips, or personal items in the envelope
  • Contain drawings that could be a secret code

The risk of having a letter returned, combined with the hassle of finding the time to get to a post office in the first place, leaves many people frustrated. Sadly, many give up altogether on sending letters, cutting off the inmate's vital source of communication.

PrisonPro has found that "In prison and jail, there are few things to look forward to, and mail is one of them."

How to Contact Inmates in Ohio Prisons and Jails

Regular communication with inmates of the Ohio prison system is welcome and encouraged. There are many ways to connect with a friend or loved one.

Visitation Policy

According to the inmate visitation rules and regulations put in place by the ODRC, visitors to Ohio prisons and jails must fill out a Visiting Application (Form DRC 2096) to be put on the approved visitor list.

A maximum of fifteen (15) visitors are allowed per prisoner, in addition to the attorney of record and clergy.

Each Ohio prison and jail has its own rules regarding the visitation policy. The managing officer determines the frequency, priority, and duration of visits. Hours are posted at the facilities, with any changes listed thirty days in advance.

Phone Calls

Global Tel*Link (GTL) is the telephone service provider for the Ohio prisons and jails system.

If you experience difficulty connecting with an inmate, contact the GTL Customer Call Center at 1-8777-650-4249. Assistance is available Monday through Friday from 8 am to midnight and Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 8 pm EST.

Inmates can only place phone calls to people listed on the approved calling list of individuals that have agreed to allow phone calls from an inmate. The first call will be from the automated system, asking permission to add you to the "Call Allow List."

Calls from inmates must be paid in advance through one of the following methods:

  1. Standard collect call.
  2. Prepaid collect call.
  3. Pin debit telephone account.
  4. Deposits are made at kiosks at the front entrance of each prison building.
  5. Funds from the offender commissary account.


Some inmates have access to an ODRC approved device or can use a kiosk to access electronic correspondence. The privilege can be revoked at any time for rule violations.

Mail Distribution

All mail received from a entity gets inspected by ODRC staff for contraband and will be opened in the presence of the inmate.

Regular mail is always opened before distribution and the envelopes get discarded. Colored envelopes are not allowed, and any contents, including money or contraband, will be removed from the letter before it gets to the inmate.

There is no limit to the amount of mail an inmate may send or receive. Postage is available in the commissary. Items that inmates cannot receive include:

  • Postage stamps
  • Glue
  • Laminated stickers
  • Glitter
  • Lipstick
  • Perfume
MailMailing addresses for are available on the ODRC institution’s page.
Phone NumberYou can contact Central Inmate Records at 614-752-1076 to obtain an inmate number.
Information NeededAlways include the inmate's full name, prison name and address, and identification number.

Steps to Take Before Contacting an Ohio Prisons and Jails Inmate

If you do not know how to find an inmate, DoNotPay can help. Our "Connect With an Inmate" product can help you find a person incarcerated in the prison system throughout the United States.

Our phenomenal Connect With An Inmate product can also help you find a prison pen pal. The system is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Log into your DoNotPay account and go to the "Connect With an Inmate" tab
  2. Select "Locate Someone"
  3. Provide the inmate's full name and state you believe they are in

Simply submit your query, and DoNotPay will provide the current location of the incarcerated person you are looking for within seconds.

Get in Touch With Your Loved Ones Via DoNotPay

DoNotPay is the quickest and easiest way to connect with people incarcerated in the Ohio prisons and jails system. Contacting a loved one or friend has never been easier. To get started, all you need is the inmate's:

  • Full name
  • Identification or booking number
  • Prison unit
  • Location

To use the automated DoNotPay system:

  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 does not stop at helping you connect with an inmate in . We can also provide assistance with:

DoNotPay is like having a personal assistant at your disposal 24/7. There is no problem too big or too small that we can't help you work through. Check out the easy-to-use system and find peace of mind knowing someone is on your side when the going gets tough.

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