Prisoner Mail Policy will be updated with new requirements

Mail - Sending Mail to a Prisoner

Prisoner mail is identified as any written, typed or printed communication of information.  

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

The following also applies to mail sent to a prisoner confined in the Michigan Department of Corrections:

  • Personal mail will be removed from the original envelope and placed in a plain envelope for delivery.  The original envelope will be discarded.
  • You should include the prisoner’s name, MDOC identification number and your return address on the envelope.
  • You should also include the prisoner’s name, MDOC identification number and your return address on the mail included inside the envelope.
  • Mail containing stains of any type including but not limited to perfume, lipstick, oily substances, watermarks, body fluids, etc., are not allowed.
  • Mail which includes the use of crayon, highlighter or other markers on the paper, glitter, lipstick marks, unusual stains, body fluids, perfumes, oils or other foreign or unknown substance on the paper are not allowed. (Mail written or printed in colored ink is permitted). 
  • Mail that is taped, pasted or otherwise joined or fastened to another item by other than a staple is not allowed.
  • ­­Greeting cards must be no larger than 6” x 8”, single fold, commercially produced and made of standard cardstock with no embellishments, including but not limited to cutouts, jewels, raised areas, etc.
  • Mail including photographs and pictures are allowed only if written or printed on white, standard weight paper (white lined paper is permitted).
  •  Mail including photographs and pictures received on non-white, heavy weight (i.e., greater than 24 pound) or construction paper or using card stock or photo paper is not allowed.

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