Mail Guidelines

Incoming Mail 

Incoming Mail Guidelines explain the process for sending mail to prison residents, what items are prohibited and what happens to mail when a resident is transferred. The residents in our prisons 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. Incarcerated individuals with funds must purchase envelopes and postage from commissary; no stamps or stationery will be accepted. They can also send out packages (i.e. hobby crafts, excess property or contraband) at their own expense. If a resident individual does not have funds (is indigent), stationery and postage are provided 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 resident followed by their IDOC number
Third Line: Their housing unit
This is followed by the rest of institution's mailing address.

Sending Money to Prison Residents:

Go to to learn the method for sending money. For complete, printable details see the Deposit and Payment Services FAQ

Confidential Mail

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 the incarcerated population, the Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole, or the Consulate or Embassy of an incarcerated individual 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 incarcerated individual but will not read it. However, incoming confidential mail might be scanned to ensure that it does not violate policy.

Unwanted Mail

If you are receiving unwanted mail from an IDOC resident, write "Return to Sender" and send it back unopened. If a minor child in your household is receiving unauthorized/unwanted mail, contact IDOC Prison Victim Services.

To view the complete policy, see Mail Handling in Correctional Facilities.

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