How To Send a Texas Department of Criminal Justice Inmate Mail

Connect With an Inmate How To Send a Texas Department of Criminal Justice Inmate Mail

What Are the TDCJ Inmate Mail Regulations? Learn With DoNotPay

Prison inmates face a lot of challenges daily. To help them cope with the circumstances they are in, we can visit or talk to them on the phone. Sometimes, it is not possible to do so because of our everyday tasks and duties or expenses that calling and traveling to the prison entail.

Writing to a prisoner is probably the most convenient way of maintaining contact with them, especially if there is a great physical distance between the parties. You can express your feelings and thoughts at length in love or encouraging letters. To cheer them up, you can compose a creative letter to engage them in a game or initiate an exchange of ideas as to what they can do when they get out.

Before you dive into correspondence with a prison inmate, you need to know the mail rules in place at the facility your prospective mail recipient is.


This DoNotPay article will guide you through mail regulations in Texas state prisons as outlined by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

The General TDCJ Inmate Mail Rules

According to the Board Policy 3.91-Uniform Offender Correspondence Rules, TDCJ prison inmates can send and receive mail.

While certain guidelines have to be followed, the TDCJ allows general, legal, or special and media correspondence as well as outgoing and incoming inmate packages.

Texas state and private prisons, jails, and correctional facilities:

  • Accept mail delivered only through authorized channels
  • Deny Cash on Delivery (C.O.D) mail
  • Inspect all incoming and outgoing letters/packages unless otherwise specified

The TDCJ Inmate Correspondence Policy

Board Policy 3.91 stipulates that prison inmates can correspond with as many individuals as they choose unless restricted by the policy.

Restrictions apply to:

  • Other offenders
  • Victims of the offender
  • Individuals on the offender’s negative mailing list—all individuals who have requested not to get mail from the offender or who have attempted to introduce contraband into the institution or otherwise violated the correspondence rules

The TDCJ Inmate Mail—Letter and Package-Specific Rules

If you wonder how to address your mail to an inmate housed in a TDCJ facility, you should know that you need to include the return address and:

  • The inmate legal first and last name as well as the TDCJ number
  • Unit name and address

The TDCJ has strict rules and regulations about inmate mail and its content.

Here’s an overview of technical rules governing the exchange of inmate letters and packages.

Letter Package
  • Written only on white paper:
    • No linen, cotton, cardstock, or decorated paper
  • No tape, glue, perfume, lipstick, glitter, or stickers
  • Any length of the letter
  • 10 photos per envelope:
    • All extra photos will be denied
  • No embellishments, illustrations, or written messages on the envelope
  • An envelope can contain a notation, such as:
    • Legal mail
    • Special mail
    • Media mail
    • Photos—do not bend
    • Fragile
  • No greeting cards of any kind
  • Cannot be mailed by individuals
  • Outgoing packages are not to be sealed until inspected by the TDCJ personnel
  • No packages with food, clothes, jewelry, toiletries, or stationery supplies
  • Publications, including books, magazines, or newspapers can be ordered through or sent by publishers or bookstores:
    • Publications can be in languages other than English
  • Package delivery from public carriers only:
    • USPS
    • UPS
    • FedEx
    • DHL 
  • Reference books and other educational materials from volunteer organizations running programs like:
    • Literacy and education
    • Life skills and job skills

Drug and alcohol rehabilitation

    • Support group
    • Arts and crafts

To learn more about care packages for inmates in Texas, follow the hyperlink.

What Happens if a TDCJ Inmate Mail Contains Contraband?

All mail should be free of contraband. In case letters or packages contain any contraband or material posing a security threat, it will be removed if possible, or the inmate won’t receive the mail.

What Are Some Examples of Unauthorized Content in a TDCJ Mail to Inmates?

Unauthorized content refers to anything found in letters and packages that constitutes a reasonable security threat. Such content includes:

  • Threats of physical harm, blackmail, or extortion
  • Escape or unauthorized entry plans
  • Coded language
  • Graphic presentation of sexual behavior in violation of the law
  • Altered or sexually explicit photos
  • Instructions for the manufacture of drugs, weapons, and explosives

How Do I Find an Address To Write to Someone in Texas Prison?

If you consider writing letters to inmates in Texas correctional facilities but don’t know their locations, you can find any Texas prison facility’s address in this directory.

A useful tip: it’s not enough to know a facility address alone—you’ll need to check whether the inmate you want to write to is located at the said address and what unit.

Locate Your Loved One With DoNotPay

If you are not sure how to find an inmate in Texas or anywhere else, DoNotPay’s Connect With an Inmate service comes with a locator that helps find inmates across the country.

This amazing feature can help you locate prisoners in any federal, state, or local prison.

All we will need are a few details about the person you want to find that you can give in the following way: 

  1. Open DoNotPay’s Connect With an Inmate service in your web browser
  2. Select Locate Someone
  3. Provide the inmate details, including the name and the state they are in
  4. Submit the request

Whatever place in the U.S. they are in, DoNotPay will locate the person you are looking for and provide their current location within seconds.

Want To Exchange Mail With an Inmate? DoNotPay Steps In

If you don’t know all the prison mail rules for writing to your pen pal, not only in Texas but in other states as well, including Ohio, Florida, or California, you can send letters to your incarcerated loved ones via DoNotPay.

Our Connect With an Inmate product also enables you to exchange correspondence with prison inmates without worrying about what rules to abide by or whether you will get mail if you are not home most of the time. DoNotPay sorts out everything for you and your pen pal.

Access DoNotPay from your web browser and follow these steps:

  1. Head to the Connect With an Inmate tab
  2. Select Send a Personalized Letter
  3. Enter the inmate’s name, ID, and correctional facility
  4. Compose your letter or upload an attachment
  5. Upload the photos you’d like to share
  6. State if you want to enable the inmate to respond you

Once you have submitted your letter, DoNotPay will promptly forward it to your recipient.

If you have enabled responses, you will receive all the mail from this particular inmate in your Virtual Mailbox.

It works like this: your prison pen pal will write a letter and send it to the address chosen by DoNotPay. Once we receive the mail, we will scan it, digitize it, and direct it to your virtual mailbox. Any time you want to see whether there is new mail, you can do so by clicking the Request Mail Check option in Virtual Mailbox.

It’s a win-win for both you and your pen pal—you will send and receive emails, whereas they will correspond in the way that fits their circumstances best.

DoNotPay Helps With All Other Matters

Do you want to know more about inmate mail in local prisons?

DoNotPay can provide you with all the information you need about mail rules in correctional facilities in Dallas, Arapahoe, Multnomah, and other counties across the U.S.

If you wonder how to get in touch with an inmate via phone, our app can inform you about cheap services you can use to have phone conversations with inmates or how many phone calls inmates get per day.

Our app can help you deal with other challenges you may face in the most efficient way.

Log in to your DoNotPay account in your web browser and seek solutions for other issues listed below: