I recently discussed prison mail, but I wanted to provide some more tips on sending mail to inmates.
Stamps are currency is prison so inmates can’t receive stamps in the mail. The sender must include the inmate’s “committed” name (i.e.; not their nickname or an abbreviation of their name) and register number on the envelope and any legal documents enclosed in the package.
Senders can’t send body hair, plant shavings, sexually-explicit photos, musical greeting cards and double-faced polaroid photos. Newspapers must come from the distributor. Magazines must have inmate name and registration number, like other packages but no more than five magazines at a time.
Sometimes mail is cheaper using First Class and at other times it is better using Media Mail class. Don’t assume which is better, ask the postmaster when you mail it. Mark anything over 1 lb., “Authorized by BOP Policy”. I’ve never understand why this is necessary, but some mailroom COs are picky. The mailroom will mail back to the sender any items that are not allowed.
I was talking to one of my friends today about legal mail. He told me that a counselor opened his legal mail and read it. The camp staff is required to call the inmate to the office when they receive legal mail. They are supposed to open it in front of the inmate and verify that there is no contraband in the envelope. In this case, she read the confidential mail from the inmate’s attorney. The camp staff makes up rules as they go depending on who it is. She made the comment that the return envelope address should specify the specific attorney name as opposed to just the “law offices of”.