Having a loved one incarcerated can be hard on the entire family. Phone calls and letters help make the time spent behind bars more bearable for inmates and their families. Correctional facilities provide necessary medical care, basic hygiene products and prison-authorized clothing. All other items must be sent by family and friends or purchased by the inmate. Because of individual security levels, some correctional facilities don't allow stamps, envelopes and paper to be mailed to inmates.
Phone the correctional facility and ask about its policy for sending stamps, envelopes and paper. Many prisons have websites with such information in the FAQs. If you can't send an inmate these items, you can send him money to buy them from the prison commissary. Inmates are not allowed to have cash in their possession, so all money received will be placed in their canteen account, which functions like a savings account within the prison. All purchases made by inmates from the prison's commissary are deducted from their canteen account.
Send stamps, envelopes and paper when allowed in a large envelope. Write the inmate's full name, prison registry number, the prison's complete address including city, state and ZIP code. Write your name and return address on the upper left corner. If you are unsure of the cost of postage, pay at the counter of a post office.
Allow three to five days for the inmate to receive his package, if it was sent by standard mail. Correctional facilities do not accept certified or registered mail that requires a signature for receipt.