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Mail - Sending Mail to a Prisoner

Due to an increase in drugs and contraband that has been coming into correctional facilities through the mail, the Michigan Department of Corrections is initiating a new process for handling prisoner personal mail (mail that does not require special handling). All incoming personal mail including envelopes will be photocopied and the photocopy will be delivered to the prisoner it is addressed to.  The prisoner will not receive the original mail; the originals will be shredded and disposed of.

It is recommended that letters be written in black or blue ink, to ensure a good quality image.  Letters written in pencil or in lighter colors will reduce the quality of the image.

Items that will be photocopied in black and white prior to delivery include:

  • Letters
  • Envelopes
  • Greeting Cards 
  • Photographs
  • Drawings/Artwork
  • Other documents included in the personal mail
    Note:  Prisoners may continue to receive color copies of greeting cards, photographs, and drawing/artwork from messages received via JPay.
    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

    Additional information regarding prisoner mail can be found here