Offenders are able to send and receive email through computer tablets.
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Correspondence is a major component of helping to keep offenders connected to family and friends. The following guidelines govern mail policies and procedures at most facilities and under most circumstances.
Change in Mail Procedures
Effective July 1, 2022, personal postal mail is no longer accepted at Missouri Department of Corrections Division of Adult Institutions (DAI) correctional facilities. All personal mail for correctional center residents is scanned and delivered electronically. Postal correspondence must be addressed as follows:
Offender Name and DOC ID#
C/O Digital Mail Center-Missouri DOC
PO Box 25678
Tampa, FL 33622-5678
Once the mail has been received at the Digital Mail Center, it will be digitally scanned and made available on the offender’s media player. Mail sent to an offender who does not have access to a tablet will be scanned, printed and delivered to the recipient.
Any personal mail received after July 1, 2022, will be returned to the sender.
- All mail must be properly addressed with information to clearly identify the offender in custody. Mail may be returned to the sender or delayed if the information provided is insufficient to reasonably determine the identity of the offender for whom it is intended.
- A return name and address must be placed on the envelope. Failure to properly address the envelope will result in the mail being returned to the sender.
- Letters/correspondence, postcards, pictures and drawings will be accepted for scanning and made available on the offender’s media player.
- Mail must not exceed 10 items per envelope.
- Senders are encouraged to number the pages of letters/correspondence.
- Mail should contain only items that can be easily scanned. Items that cannot be easily scanned may be delayed in processing or returned to the sender.
- Mail that has been scanned will be held at the Digital Mail Center for 45 calendar days and then discarded.
- All handwritten correspondence should be written in blue or black ink.
- Anyone sending personal mail who wishes to have it returned to them must include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with the original mail.
- To request personal correspondence be returned from the Securus JPay digital mail center, families may call Securus at 800-844-6591.
Postal Mail Accepted at Correctional Centers
Missouri Department of Corrections facilities will continue to accept the following items via postal mail:
- Privileged/legal mail (e.g., courts, attorneys)
- Certified mail (must be pre-approved by the offender’s case manager). No personal correspondence will be accepted by certified mail. Accepted documents may include identification for the resident’s release and legal documents needing a resident’s signature.
- Publications ordered by an offender and sent directly from a publisher, distributor or other bona fide vendor.
- Visitor applications.
Reception & Diagnostic Phase
Upon arrival in the Missouri Department of Corrections, each offender is provided with two pieces of paper, a postage-paid envelope and a writing instrument for correspondence.
- Greeting cards are not allowed, with the exception of cards purchased and sent through https://securustech.net. Cards sent through the mail to the mail processing center cannot be scanned and will not be delivered to offenders.
- Offenders’ families and friends can send electronic mail, digital greeting cards, pictures and 30-second videos through a Securus JPay account.
Magazine & Newspaper Subscriptions
Please see reading material guidelines »
For security purposes, all incoming and outgoing mail is subject to search and is examined for unauthorized articles or substances.
- Unsanitary mail-including bodily fluid, powdery substances or other substances which may appear to create a health or sanitation hazard
- Mail with labels, stickers or stamps, with the exception of required postage
- Felt tip pens, glitter pens, markers, paint or any ink that bleeds through the paper
- Mail containing messages for others offenders
- A photo of an offender to include self
- Pictures that have been altered or appear to be altered
- Two-ply pictures
- A picture containing a mixture of pictures, e.g. Collages
- Screen shots containing text conversations, social media posts and written correspondence.
- Catalogs and calendars
- Approved catalogs may be provided in the library
- Calendars shall be purchased through the institutional canteen
Note: It is not plausible to cover all of the contingencies that could cause a mailing to be rejected. If you have any questions or concerns regarding something you intend to include in a mailing, you should contact the institution’s mailroom or have the offender seek clarification from the case manager prior to sending it or you risk rejection of the mailing.
Offenders cannot receive food, clothing, cash, money orders, checks, stamps, stamped envelopes or other items through the mail.
Rejection of Mail
If any correspondence, pictures or print materials are determined to not be in compliance with policy, the offender and the sender will be notified. An offender who disagrees with the censorship decision may file an appeal through the offender grievance process. A sender who disagrees may submit a written request for an independent review within 30 days of the date of the notification-of-appeal letter to the warden of the correctional center.
The following items will be rejected or might be subject to censorship. This is not a comprehensive list.
- Sexually explicit writing
- Photos containing nudity (any pictorial depiction with less than a fully opaque covering is considered a nude photo), including bare chested children and adult females
- Song lyrics with a parental advisory
- Tattoo patterns
- Gang depictions
If any piece of the correspondence is not allowed, the entire mailing will be rejected.
Correspondence that is written in a foreign language or that is indecipherable may be censored or delayed, based upon staff resources available for interpretation.
Violation of Procedures
A sender’s media services account may be suspended due to repeated violations of institutional procedures regarding offender mail and censorship.
Unwanted Correspondence from an Inmate
If you have received unwelcome mail or threatening letters from an offender, notify the institution in writing that you wish the correspondence to cease. Please provide a copy of the correspondence received. The offender will be directed to stop writing to you. If the behavior continues, please notify the institution and the offender will be referred for possible disciplinary action.
For more specific information on mailroom regulations, the offender should review Institutional Services Procedure IS13-1.1 Offender Mail Procedures, which is available in the offender library.