The Department of Corrections (DOC) has established procedures governing incoming and outgoing packages for inmates per WAC 137-48 Inmate Mail & Communications . The purpose of the WAC rules is to maintain the safety, security, and discipline of adult prison facilities to prevent the transmission of illegal items or contraband into or out of an institution. The rules do not apply to work release facilities.
Packages are wrapped or boxed objects, a parcel or bundle containing one or more objects, and/or a container in which something is packed for storage or transport or mailing (WAC 137-48-20(9) ).
Package contents must comply with DOC Policy 440.000 Personal Property for Offenders. The following matrixes identify the type, value*, and amount of personal property authorized for inmate retention at the different housing security levels. Exceptions require Assistant Secretary of Prisons approval.
- Maximum Allowable Personal Property Matrix – Men's Facilities (Attachment 1)
- Maximum Allowable Personal Property Matrix – Women's Facilities (Attachment 2)
*The value of personal property retained by inmates will not exceed the dollar amounts identified on the matrixes.
Please note that books are NOT considered property. Books are considered publications and are authorized as long as they arrive directly from any publishing company. See the Send Publications page for information about sending books to inmates.
Review Unauthorized Mail (Attachment 1) to ensure the contents of your package will not be rejected.
Sending Packages to Inmates
In addition to the DOC Policy 450.120 Packages for Offenders, all packages must comply with DOC Policy 450.100 Mail for Individuals in Prison. Each month, inmates may receive one gift package (from family or friends) or one package they ordered themselves, but not both. The only way to send packages to inmates in prison is through the approved vendor, Union Supply Direct .
To all of our customers, please be advised that Union Supply Group is an “essential” business that supplies food and other essential items. All divisions of Union Supply Group (Food Express, Inmate Direct, US Commissary Solutions, Union Supply Company) remain in business and fully operational. For more information, read the Union Supply memo.
Monthly Property Packages Winter 2020/Spring 2021 Catalogs not Expired
Please be advised that the Winter 2020/Spring 2021 Monthly Property Package/Faith catalogs and order forms have NOT expired. Please continue to order from these until the newest version is complete and in circulation. The new catalogs are currently in development and we will notify you again when we have a timeline as to when you can expect delivery to the facilities. Thank you, CI Package Program Team
Monthly Property Packages
Use the Property Program Catalog to send general property items like jewelry, electronics, health and beauty products, shoes, etc., to an inmate.
Faith Item Packages
Use the Faith Items Program Catalog to send faith related head coverings, incense, medallions, pendants, clothing items, etc., to an inmate.
Bi-Monthly Food Packages
June 2021 Food Package Program Notice
Due to national inventory supply chain issues beyond the department’s control, there is limited or no stock of many items. A few challenges causing delays include:
Corrections is working with Union Supply to rectify the situation as quickly as possible and produce a normal flow of packages. Most out of stock items will be restocked, however, some may not become available. If a product that will not be restocked is ordered, the department will work with Union Supply to cancel the item and issue a refund to ensure the remaining order is processed appropriately.
As this is a new program with a new menu and new ordering habits, Corrections is working to lessen the delays and will review appropriate data prior to the second session. Thank you for your patience while we work through challenges with inventory.
Washington Department of Corrections has approved a pilot change to the quarterly package process. Quarterly Food Packages have been approved for many years through Union Supply Group and Correctional Industries. Effective June 1, 2021 through January 31, 2022, the agency has approved moving to a bi-monthly food package pilot through Union Supply Group. This approval allows the incarcerated population (IP) one (1) package in a two month period, then another package in the next two months. This will allow an IP to receive as many as six (6) packages in a twelve month period. Use the Food Package Program Catalog to send packages during designated order dates. Orders can be placed online, fax or mail.
- 1 Order – June through July
- 1 Order – August through September
- 1 Order – October through November
- 1 Order – December through January
Vendor Resources & Information
See the following Union Supply Direct resources for more information about their services: