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Incoming Mail Guidelines explain the process for sending mail to offenders, what prohibited items are and what happens to mail when an offender is transferred. Offenders may receive letters (no packages) and photos (no Polaroids or nudity) from family/friends. Personal letters will be opened and searched for contraband; unacceptable items will be returned to the sender or given to proper authorities. Offenders with funds must purchase envelopes and postage from commissary; no stamps or stationery will be accepted. Offenders may send out packages (i.e. hobby crafts, excess property or contraband) at their own expense. Offenders without funds (indigent) will be provided stationery and postage for one personal letter per week. The facility resource center staff or designee will handle all incoming or outgoing legal mail.
How to address mail:
First Line: Name of Institution
Second line: Name of offender followed by his/her inmate number
Third Line: Offender's housing unit
This is followed by the rest of institution's mailing address.
Sending Money to Offenders
Money orders sent to offenders should be sent to the facility where the offender is located with a few exceptions. Deposits for offenders at community work centers and at Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center should be sent to Central Office Offender Accounts. Send money orders or cashier’s checks. Personal checks and cash will not be accepted and it is unwise to send cash in the mail. The money order should include the following information: the offender's first and last name, the offender's number, the institution and housing unit where the offender is located, plus the name and address of the remitter. Remember to sign the money order or cashier’s check. All money received is placed on the offender's account within 24 hours, during normal working days, after receiving the funds. We recommend sending a cashier’s check for amounts of $500.00 or greater. No cash or personal checks are allowed. For more information, please see offender accounts.
Confidential mail is mail sent to or from the following: the president, the governor, the Idaho Legislature or U.S. Congress, (except for bulk mailings), the Board, the director, IDOC chiefs and deputy chiefs, facility heads, public interest groups or government entities providing assistance for offenders, the Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole, or the Consulate or Embassy of an offender who is a foreign national.
While this mail is treated as confidential, it is monitored for contraband and other items that might threaten the safety of the recipient. A unit staff member will open and inspect the envelope in the presence of the offender but will not read it. However, incoming confidential mail might be scanned to ensure that it does not violate policy.
If you are receiving unwanted mail from an offender, write "Return to Sender" and send it back unopened. If a minor child in your household is receiving unauthorized/unwanted mail, contact IDOC Victim Services.
To view the complete policy, see Mail Handling in Correctional Facilities.