Mail - Sending Mail to a Prisoner

Prisoner mail is identified as any written, typed or printed communication of information, including magazines, catalogs, books and photographs.   Mail is prohibited if it is a threat to the security, good order, or discipline of the facility, may facilitate or encourage criminal activity, or may interfere with the rehabilitation of the prisoner. For detailed information about prohibited mail see MDOC PD 05.03.118 - Prisoner Mail.

When writing to a prisoner using the US Postal Service, the envelope must include the address of the facility where the prisoner is located as well as the offender's name and MDOC number. If you do not know this information, you can search the OTIS Database, located on the MDOC's website ( Below is an example: 

John A. Smith, #123456

Michigan Correctional Facility

123 Prison Street

Anytown, MI 48909

Mail sent to a prisoner confined in the Michigan Department of Corrections must also meet the following requirements:

  • Mail must be received in WHITE envelopes only; no security features will be permitted.
  • Padded, cardboard, tear resistant or similar envelopes will not be allowed.
  • Stickers of any type, including return address labels, are prohibited.
  • Mail containing stains of any type including but not limited to perfume, lipstick, oily substances, water marks, body fluids, etc., are not allowed.
  • Only mail written in blue or black ink or lead pencil is permitted.  Mail written in marker, crayon, paint, glitter, chalk, charcoal or colored inks is not permitted.
  • Mail must not contain glue/paste or nontransparent tape of any type.
  • Greeting cards must be no larger than 6” x 8”, single fold, commercially produced with no embellishments, including but not limited to cutouts, jewels, raised areas, etc.

Additional information regarding prisoner mail can be found in PD 05.03.118 - Prisoner Mail Policy.