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
Beginning July 1, 2022, personal postal mail will no longer be 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.
- Anyone sending personal mail who wishes to have it returned to them must include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with the original mail.
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)
- Mail from other agencies (e.g., child support)
- 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.
- Sent directly from a publisher, distributor or other bona fide vendor.
- Visitation 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 may be delivered only through the media services account.
- Offenders’ families and friends can send electronic mail, greeting cards, pictures and 30-second videos through a Securus JPay account. More information about creating an account can be found at https://securustech.net.
Magazine & Newspaper Subscriptions
After an offender leaves the diagnostic center and is permanently assigned to a facility, a loved one may make gift subscription purchases of magazines and newspapers for an offender. Please ensure the subscription is sent to the offender’s permanent facility mailing address and includes the offender's name, DOC number and housing unit. The subscription must be received directly from the vendor and is subject to censorship guidelines. Loved ones may also deposit funds to an offender’s account for the offender to use to subscribe to a periodical.
Mail Inspection - Through June 15, 2022
For security purposes, all incoming and outgoing mail is subject to search and is examined for unauthorized articles or substances.
Substances including any type of body fluid, hair, powdery substances or other substances which may appear to create a health or sanitation hazard may be cause for rejection of the correspondence. Any other items, including but not limited to stamps, stickers, blank stationery or envelopes cannot be included inside an envelope sent to an offender.
Note: Items allowed through the mail may vary slightly at each institution and 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.
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.
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.