The Easiest Way to Send Commissary Packages to an Inmate
No doubt, being incarcerated is tough. If you have a friend or family member currently serving time, send them a commissary package to let them know you are thinking of them. It can certainly lighten their mood.
But how do you go about sending a commissary to an inmate? You not only need to know their full legal name, but you will also have to dig around a bit to gather more information. Luckily, there is an app that can help you. DoNotPay works easily and efficiently and will help you track down the information required to send a commissary or a letter to an inmate.
What Types of Things Can You Include in a Commissary Gift?
A commissary, also known as the canteen, is a store located in a correctional facility where inmates can purchase snacks, personal hygiene items, and more. But you may want to send them something specific they like to use, which may not be available there. The problem is most prisons do not allow home-sent packages. So, you cannot go shopping and package items to mail to your friend. But there are other options.
Using an Outside Commissary Service
For example, the county of Miami-Dade in Florida recommends using iCare to select prepacked commissary packages and ship them for you. To do so, you need to access the iCare website and:
- Choose the Find an Inmate or the Start Shopping button.
- Choose the state where your loved one is incarcerated.
- Add the name or inmate number of the individual.
- View products and choose which you want to add to the package.
- When done shopping, click Proceed to Checkout and enter how you wish to pay.
- You will receive an email confirming your order and another when your order has been delivered.
Learn how to send a commissary or a package to an incarcerated loved one in:
|West Virginia||New Hampshire|
What if You Want to Send an Inmate Something Other Than Commissary Items?
While sending packages is often discouraged, you can send letters to inmates with updates about the family and other events. You will need to properly address the letter according to the specific facility and learn what you can include in a letter and what is prohibited.
Note, some common things cannot be included in a letter, including:
Some inmates are looking for new links to the outside world. If you have the time and would like to become a pen pal to an inmate, DoNotPay can help you learn more.
Add Money to the Inmate's Commissary Funds
Rather than picking items you think your family member may need or want, you can simply deposit funds into their commissary account. According to the Florida Department of Corrections Rule 33-203.201 (DOC), inmates may only receive funds from those included on the inmate's automated visiting record and currently have "approved" status. To learn more about sending funds, visit the DOC's website for the state where your friend is incarcerated.
Sending Books, Magazines, and Photos
While most correctional facilities have a library, you may send magazines or a book that you know someone may particularly enjoy. This is possible in many locations, but you must also ensure the facility does not list the subject matter as contraband. You cannot purchase the items and ship them yourself, but many facilities allow you to order through either publisher websites or reputable services such as Amazon, which provide shipping.
Having photos of family, pets, and friends can be the most prized items your loved one may enjoy while away and in prison. Each facility or state will have its restrictions, for example:
- The size of photographs may be limited to something like 4" x 6"
- The inmate's name and ID number should be printed on the back of each photo
- There may be a limit to how many photos can be sent at one time and kept by the inmate
Of course, to send anything to your family member or friend, you will have to find where they are located. DoNotPay can, and will, help!
How to Find an Inmate Through DoNotPay
You could spend a lot of time searching the internet for helpful ways of locating your loved one, or you could simply use the DoNotPay app. Aside from helping you find an inmate, DoNotPay can also help you schedule visitation. All you need do is:
- Locate the Connect With an Inmate service on DoNotPay.
- Choose whether you want to locate a loved one, create a virtual mailbox, or send a personalized letter.
- If you want us to find your loved one, provide their details and the state they are located in. We'll then conduct a search on the appropriate state database.
- 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.
- 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 ten days for it to arrive for your loved one!
Then just wait for the app to get back to you.
DoNotPay Offers a Lot of Other Solutions to Everyday Problems
Besides helping locate an inmate so you can send a commissary, DoNotPay should be your go-to app for many issues. Why waste time on internet searches that may or may not offer the right solutions when you can just ask DoNotPay for help?
- Get rid of pesky spam emails
- Help you find lost money
- Move you up the queue for a callback
- File small claims court paperwork
The creators of DoNotPay are continually looking for new ways to make your life easier. For one low monthly fee, DoNotPay can accomplish so much for you. Check it out!