How to Send Books and Magazines to an inmate: Important rules you need to know


inmate books
When sending books and magazines to an inmate at any institution there are a few important general rules to remember. 

First all books you send to an inmate must be new, they cannot be used (I can't emphasize this enough). 

DO NOT SEND MORE THEN THREE BOOKS PER ORDER.  Most prisons will only allow an inmate to receive 3 books at a time, or in a given period such as a month.

DO NOT SEND HARDCOVER BOOKS. Institutions will only allow you to send an inmate paperback books, spiral and hardbound books will always be rejected as they pose security risks.

All books and magazines must come directly from the publisher, meaning you cannot order the books to your house and then put them into a box and send them, this is forbidden for security reasons. 

The best place to order books and magazines from is directly from this company.  Make sure they are new books and not used or from marketplace sellers. 

During the checkout process you will need to put the inmates mailing address, which we provide on our site just find the institution they are incarcerated in and the mailing address is at the top of the page.  Put the inmates full committed name in the name fields for shipping address, if you have room put the ID number as well (i.e. John Doe, 12345).  If you do not have room for the ID number you must include this under the company field.

ALWAYS SELECT USPS TO SHIP.  Most shipping addresses for inmates are a Post Office box, thus you must also select the ship to post office box option on the shipping screen during checkout to ensure delivery.

It is the discretion of the institution to allow certain books in or not, as a general rule do not send any books that are violent or relate to the crime the inmate committed.  Worst case scenario the shipment will be rejected and the company above will automatically refund all your money including shipping charges.

Do not send books or Magazines to inmates who are housed at temporary or Classification centers as these inmates are usually transferred out relatively quickly so they may not accept packages until the inmate reaches the final institution they will be housed at.


Mailing Questions

Hello there -

This may be a stupid queston but how do I adress the mail? My sister is currently in Framingham. Do I address it to her name and or ID number and the address?  For Ex Smith Roberts (7644567) i just want to make sure she gets the letter. Also how does the money situation go? Can I just add a money order to the letter I am sending? Thanks

BPRichfield's picture

re: mail questions

It is only a stupid question because it has already been answered on our site.  Use the menu at the top of the page to navigate to your facility, in this case Framingham in MA.  The answer to your questions can be found there.


my husband is in kilby correction facility. I can not find any information on sending stamps and envelopes or how I'm supposed to address mail to him.  I have a Manila envelope with eight stamps and envelopes. Would this be acceptable?

BPRichfield's picture

re: Mail to Kilby Correctional

People, before you post questions about a specific facility, please use our site as it was intended by searching for the facility in the dropdown menu at the top of the page.  It will answer many of the questions you have for a specific institution.  For instance the answer to this question can be found on our Kilby Correctional Facility page here.  If you still can't find the answer to your question please post the question on the page for that facility.


How many pictures can i send at a time?

BPRichfield's picture

Number of photos

Depends on what institution you are talking about, you can send 5 per envelope (one stamp covers the weight of 5) but some facilities limit the number of photos in the inmate's possession to 3.  Let us know what facility you are talking about and we can give you a clearer answer.

block Mail

How can i stop one of your inmates from sending me mail?

Prayer Rug

A friend is asking for a prayer rug, he is located in southern state prison delmont, nj... Will I be able to buy it from amazon as well and have it sent to the prison?

BPRichfield's picture

re: Prayer Rug

As far as I know you cannot order this and have it sent to the inmate.  The inmate can contact his counselor and see what can be done about it since it may fall under an allowable religious item....bump not sure on this one.

Book Shipping Question

I just recently published a book that I've been working on for 10 years and the inmate would really like to see it. Unfortunately, it is a big 224 page hardcover book. Can I remove the hardcover from the book and send the book to him in 1/4" sections? Also, the book is 10.5"x11". If I use a larger envelope to accomodate the size will this be allowed? If not, can you suggest any way that I could show him the book?

Thank you!  


BPRichfield's picture

Sending a Hardcover

No, you cannot take the hardcover off and send it, the book cannot come from you at all it must come directly from the vendor amazon and must be softcover.  The only way I can think of that you could send your book would be to either copy it or transcribe it into a letter and send it a few pages at a time.

receiving mail from an inmate

I've sent A letter and two books to my boyfriend
How will I know if he's received them and how do I get a correspondence from him. Plus I live in London can he call Me collect or something.
Does he need money in order him to write Me back and if so how do I send from London to him?

BPRichfield's picture

re: Receiving mail from an inmate

What institution is he in?  Depending on the facility you may have no way of sending funds to him.  Most inmates need money in their account to send a letter, not sure how overseas postage would work.  How did you send the book, did it come directly from the publisher/amazon?  Not sure if they can call collect to a foreign country, you may want to read over our guide on saving money on inmate phone calls, as you may benefit from setting up a google voice account with a local area code (local to the prison) and having the calls connect to your London number (if that is even possible).  Give it a try and let us know how it works out.

Money for Personal Items

my nephew is there he says he needs money for personal items is this true or are they provided such as deodorant and toothpaste?

BPRichfield's picture

re: Money for personal items

We have no idea where 'there' is.  You will need to at least tell us the institution your nephew is located for us to try and help get you an answer.  Most facilities provide common hygenic items such as toothbrush, toothpaste etc.  Some prisons/jails let you buy items directly from the commissary for the offender while others only allow you to put money in the inmate's commissary account.