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: Resident's Last Name and IDOC Number
Second line: Facility and Resident's Unit Number
Third Line: PO Box (ISCC - PO Box 70010, ISCI - PO Box 14, SICI/SICI-CRC/MVTC - PO Box 8509, IMSI and SBWCC - PO Box 51)
Fourth Line: Boise, ID 83707

(For PWCC, ICIO, NICI, and SAWC use the address listed on the individual facility's page.)

Sending money to residents

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

Sending books, magazines, and newspapers to residents

You cannot send publications directly to a resident.

They must come with a receipt or invoice and be sent directly to the resident from the publication's publisher or an IDOC-approved vendor.

Approved vendors are:

  • Edward R. Hamilton
  • Thrift Books
  • Discover Books
  • More than Words
  • Prison Book Program
  • Books a Million
  • Books N Things
  • Sure Shot Books
  • The Women's Prison Book Project
  • Idaho Prison Arts Collective

At this time, Amazon is not an approved vendor.

New and used books are allowed but must be softcover and no larger than 11 inches long, 8 1/2 inches wide, and 3 inches thick. Residents may seek approval from their facility's administration to obtain hardback educational, legal, and religious books if softcover versions are not available.

Magazines and newspapers must come directly from their publisher and have a printed delivery label featuring the IDOC resident's name and address.

Publications not meeting these criteria will be returned to the sender.

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.