Sending Mail to an Inmate
The outside envelope must be addressed with:
- the inmate’s full name
- six–digit DOC number, and correct facility address.
- a return address as defined by the USPS including an identifiable first and last name.
- the name of the unit where the inmate lives (not required for delivery)
The letter(s) inside must be addressed to the inmate on the envelope.
Do not send cash, personal checks or stamps, the mail will be rejected and returned to you at the inmate's expense.
To send money for stamps or other items, refer to sending money page.
When you want to know what is not allowed, read this Policy 450.100 amendment 1.
Mail is inspected and the facility will provide written notification of the mail rejection to the inmate and the sender. The notification includes the reason for the restriction and the name and address of the sender. The process does allow the inmate and/or the sender to appeal the mail rejection.
Washington Corrections Center’s Reception Center has a more restrictive policy on incoming mail. The inmate should inform you of what is allowed.
eMessaging has arrived!
Almost all DOC prisons now have eMessaging capability. Inmates' families and friends can write electronic letters 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for less than the price of a stamp.
Mailing Gift Packages
Learn more about how to send a gift package.
Gift packages may be sent to an inmate. Inmates are limited in the gift packages they may receive, according to policy 440.000. An inmate may receive one gift package (not to exceed 15 pounds in weight including packing materials) on a monthly basis. In order to send an inmate a monthly package, most institutions require that the inmate send you a Package Authorization form.
If you are planning on purchasing a holiday or property package for an inmate, it is important to be aware of the effects of using accurate contact information when using money orders in the event a refund is needed. If a family member or friend will be purchasing, it is vital that the information pertaining to the purchaser’s name and address is accurate and is not listed as the inmate’s name or address of facility. Access SecurePak will issue the refund based upon this information. If the inmate’s name and facility address is listed, the refund will be issued to the inmate and will be subject to deductions based upon the inmate’s scenario of incarceration. If the inmate’s family or friend purchases a package using a money order and includes their own name and address, Access will be able to issue the refund to that person and address and will not be subject to any deductions.
Newly admitted inmates do not receive packages while assigned to the Reception Center at Washington Corrections Center.
Work Release Mailing Rules
Work Release facilities have different rules for mailing. See Policy 450.110 (PDF)