Contacting an Inmate

Writing an Inmate

UPDATED - The Department has updated and made changes to the routine mail rule and guidelines.

As of November 29th, 2021, the new routine inmate mail guidelines outlined in Rule 33-210.101 Florida Administrative Code are in effect at all institutions.

Beginning January 18, 2022, all routine inmate mail will be scanned and delivered electronically at the following institutions:

Routine inmate mail sent to these institutions need to be sent to the following address:

Inmate’s last name, first name, DC#
PO Box 23608
Tampa, FL 33623

Routine mail should be directed to an inmate’s institution until electronic mail scanning is implemented for that particular institution. Ample notification will be provided to the inmate population, and the public, before an institution is transitioned.

To view the complete rule and guidelines please visit: https://www.flrules.org/gateway/RuleNo.asp?ID=33-210.101.

New Mail Rule Change FAQ
Packaging

All correspondence addressed to inmates must be sent by U.S. Postal Service mail. Correspondence sent by other courier or delivery services will be refused

Inmates shall not be permitted to receive routine mail in boxes, padded envelopes, plastic bags, multi-layer packaging,envelopes that include metal parts, any package containing bubble wrap or packing peanuts, or card stock type envelopes (i.e. U.S. Mail Priority or U.S. Mail Express card board type)

Addressing the Envelope

Always use the inmate’s committed name and DC number when addressing your letters.

Envelope

Mail should be written in English, Spanish, or Creole unless the inmate has prior written approval from the warden to receive correspondence in another language.

All routine mail sent to an inmate is opened, examined, and read by designated department staff.

Email Messages

Inmates are not authorized access to the Internet. However, through JPay Inc., a Florida–based company, the Department provides a variety of multimedia services to inmates, including secure mail, through both an interactive kiosk, available in each general population housing unit, and secure tablets.

For more information, or to create an account, visit: https://www.jpay.com/PEmessages.aspx.

Secure Mail is available to inmates at a cost of $0.39/stamp, with one stamp purchasing one email. This is $0.19 cheaper than the cost of a first-class postage stamp, currently at $0.58. The cost of Secure Mail covers the cost of the infrastructure to support it and monitoring of the messages for safety and security purposes.

Calling an Inmate

Inmate Phone Procedure

Florida prison inmates are not permitted to receive telephone calls. Inmates may place collect calls to approved numbers.

If there is a family emergency, family members are urged to contact the institution's chaplain. The chaplain will notify the inmate and he/she may be granted a special telephone call

Click here for information about the new Inmate Telephone System.

The inmate telephone system operational hours are detailed in the chart below:

Statewide Inmate Telephone System Hours

 

Turn On

Turn Off

Monday

8am

11pm

Tuesday

8am

11pm

Wednesday

8am

11pm

Thursday

8am

11pm

Friday

8am

1am

Saturday

8am

1am

Sunday

8am

11pm

The day before any state-observed holiday

8am

1am

For state-observed holidays falling on Monday through Thursday (except Thanksgiving)

8am

11pm

Note:
• These times are based on Eastern Standard Time (EST). Institutions operating in the Central Time zone will observe the EST telephone hours.
• Statewide or institutional emergencies may impact these hours.

  • The following items are not permissible for inclusion in or attachment to routine mail addressed to an inmate:

    • Non-paper items;
    • Items of a non-communicative nature such as lottery tickets or matchbooks;
    • Stickers or stamps (other than postage stamps, postal service attachments, and address labels affixed to the outside of the envelope);
    • Address labels (other than those affixed to the outside of the mailing envelope);
    • Laminated cards or other laminated materials.


    Incoming mail shall be disapproved for mailing or delivery to an inmate if any part of it:

    • Depicts or describes procedures for the construction of or use of weapons, ammunitions, bombs, chemical agents, or incendiary devices;
    • Depicts, encourages, or describes methods of escape from correctional facilities or contains blueprints, drawings or similar descriptions of department of corrections facilities or institutions, or includes road maps that can facilitate escape from correctional facilities;
    • Depicts or describes procedures for the brewing of alcoholic beverages, or the manufacture of drugs or other intoxicants;
    • Is written in code;
    • Depicts, describes or encourages activities which may lead to the use of physical violence or group disruption;
    • Encourages or instructs in the commission of criminal activity;
    • Is dangerously inflammatory in that it advocates or encourages riot, insurrection, disruption of the institution, violation of department or institution rules, the violation of which would present a serious threat to the security, order or rehabilitative objectives of the institution or the safety of any person;
    • Threatens physical harm, blackmail or extortion;
    • Pictorially depicts sexual conduct as defined by s. 847.001, Florida Statutes, as follows: (a) actual or simulated sexual intercourse; (b) sexual bestiality; (c) masturbation; (d) sadomasochistic abuse; (e) actual contact with a person's unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if such person is a female, breast; (f) any act or conduct which constitutes sexual battery or simulates that sexual battery is being or will be committed.
    • Presents nudity or a lewd exhibition of the genitals in such a way as to create the appearance that sexual conduct is imminent, i.e., display of contact or intended contact with genitals, pubic area, buttocks or female breasts orally, digitally or by foreign object, or display of sexual organs in an aroused state.
    • Contains criminal history, offender registration, or other personal information about another inmate or offender which, in the hands of an inmate, presents a threat to the security, order or rehabilitative objectives of the correctional system or to the safety of any person;
    • It contains an advertisement promoting any of the following where the advertisement is the focus of, rather than being incidental to, the publication or the advertising is prominent or prevalent throughout the publication.
      • Three-way calling services;
      • Pen-pal services;
      • The purchase of products or services with postage stamps; or
      • Conducting a business or profession while incarcerated
    • Is not in compliance with incoming mail regulations set forth in subsections (2) and (3) of Administrative Rule 33-210.101;
    • Contains or appears to contain unknown or unidentifiable substances; or
    • Otherwise presents a threat to the security, order, or rehabilitative objectives of the correctional system, or to the safety of any person.


    When an inmate is prohibited from receiving any item of mail, the inmate and the sender will be given notice in writing that the mail has been disapproved stating one of the authorized reasons for disapproval.

    • The Unauthorized Mail Return Receipt, Form DC2-521, will be placed in the original envelope with the correspondence and returned to the sender.
    • If contraband is discovered in the mail (other than contraband of an illegal nature), the contraband item and the correspondence will be returned to the sender with the Unauthorized Mail Return Receipt included.


    When an inmate is transferred or released, routine mail addressed to the inmate at his old institution shall be treated as follows:

    • For 1 month after the transfer or release, all first-class and second-class mail will be returned to the post office within 10 working days of receipt with a forwarding address, if available, and a request will be made to postal authorities to forward.
    • All postage due is the responsibility of the inmate and must be paid in accordance with postage regulations.
    • At the end of the 1-month period, all first-class and second-class routine mail will be returned to the U.S. Postal Service with no attempt to have mail forwarded.
    • From the date of transfer or release, all routine mail other than first-class and second-class will be returned to the U.S. Postal Service for its disposition.


    Inmates may not send mail to any person who has advised the warden that he does not wish to receive mail from the inmate.

    • The parents or legal guardians of a person under the age of 18 may advise that mail is not to be sent to such person.
    • Upon receipt of such advisement, the warden will cause to be prepared an acknowledgment specifying that the inmate will not be permitted to send mail to the person requesting the correspondence restriction and that such person should return any further mail received from the inmate and notify the warden of the attempt to correspond.
    • After the inmate is notified of the correspondence restriction, any further attempt to correspond will be considered a violation of Administrative Rule 33-210.102 and of Section 9-14 of the Rules of Prohibited Conduct, (Administrative Rule 33-601.314, F.A.C.) and will subject the inmate to disciplinary action.
    • iv.This restriction does not apply to civil pleadings or other legal documents pertaining to a civil case in which both the inmate and the receiver are parties, and no inmate shall be subject to discipline for mailing such items.

Inmates Receiving Books, Periodicals (Magazines/Newsletters), or Other Publications

The sending of publications to inmates is addressed in Administrative Rule 33.501.401, “Admissible Reading Material” F.A.C.

  • Reading Material Restrictions

    The following items are not permissible for inclusion in or attachment to routine mail addressed to an inmate:

    • Non-paper items;
    • Items of a non-communicative nature such as lottery tickets or matchbooks;
    • Stickers or stamps (other than postage stamps, postal service attachments, and address labels affixed to the outside of the envelope);
    • Address labels (other than those affixed to the outside of the mailing envelope);
    • Laminated cards or other laminated materials.



    Incoming mail shall be disapproved for mailing or delivery to an inmate if any part of it:

    • Depicts or describes procedures for the construction of or use of weapons, ammunitions, bombs, chemical agents, or incendiary devices;
    • Depicts, encourages, or describes methods of escape from correctional facilities or contains blueprints, drawings or similar descriptions of department of corrections facilities or institutions, or includes road maps that can facilitate escape from correctional facilities;
    • Depicts or describes procedures for the brewing of alcoholic beverages, or the manufacture of drugs or other intoxicants;
    • Is written in code;
    • Depicts, describes or encourages activities which may lead to the use of physical violence or group disruption;
    • Encourages or instructs in the commission of criminal activity;
    • Is dangerously inflammatory in that it advocates or encourages riot, insurrection, disruption of the institution, violation of department or institution rules, the violation of which would present a serious threat to the security, order or rehabilitative objectives of the institution or the safety of any person;
    • Threatens physical harm, blackmail or extortion;
    • Pictorially depicts sexual conduct as defined by s. 847.001, Florida Statutes, as follows: (a) actual or simulated sexual intercourse; (b) sexual bestiality; (c) masturbation; (d) sadomasochistic abuse; (e) actual contact with a person's unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if such person is a female, breast; (f) any act or conduct which constitutes sexual battery or simulates that sexual battery is being or will be committed.
    • Presents nudity or a lewd exhibition of the genitals in such a way as to create the appearance that sexual conduct is imminent, i.e., display of contact or intended contact with genitals, pubic area, buttocks or female breasts orally, digitally or by foreign object, or display of sexual organs in an aroused state.
    • Contains criminal history, offender registration, or other personal information about another inmate or offender which, in the hands of an inmate, presents a threat to the security, order or rehabilitative objectives of the correctional system or to the safety of any person;
    • It contains an advertisement promoting any of the following where the advertisement is the focus of, rather than being incidental to, the publication or the advertising is prominent or prevalent throughout the publication.
      • Three-way calling services;
      • Pen-pal services;
      • The purchase of products or services with postage stamps; or
      • Conducting a business or profession while incarcerated
    • Is not in compliance with incoming mail regulations set forth in subsections (2) and (3) of Administrative Rule 33-210.101;
    • Contains or appears to contain unknown or unidentifiable substances; or
    • Otherwise presents a threat to the security, order, or rehabilitative objectives of the correctional system, or to the safety of any person.


    When an inmate is prohibited from receiving any item of mail, the inmate and the sender will be given notice in writing that the mail has been disapproved stating one of the authorized reasons for disapproval.

    • The Unauthorized Mail Return Receipt, Form DC2-521, will be placed in the original envelope with the correspondence and returned to the sender.
    • If contraband is discovered in the mail (other than contraband of an illegal nature), the contraband item and the correspondence will be returned to the sender with the Unauthorized Mail Return Receipt included.


    When an inmate is transferred or released, routine mail addressed to the inmate at his old institution shall be treated as follows:

    • For 1 month after the transfer or release, all first-class and second-class mail will be returned to the post office within 10 working days of receipt with a forwarding address, if available, and a request will be made to postal authorities to forward.
    • All postage due is the responsibility of the inmate and must be paid in accordance with postage regulations.
    • At the end of the 1-month period, all first-class and second-class routine mail will be returned to the U.S. Postal Service with no attempt to have mail forwarded.
    • From the date of transfer or release, all routine mail other than first-class and second-class will be returned to the U.S. Postal Service for its disposition.


    Inmates may not send mail to any person who has advised the warden that he does not wish to receive mail from the inmate.

    • The parents or legal guardians of a person under the age of 18 may advise that mail is not to be sent to such person.
    • Upon receipt of such advisement, the warden will cause to be prepared an acknowledgment specifying that the inmate will not be permitted to send mail to the person requesting the correspondence restriction and that such person should return any further mail received from the inmate and notify the warden of the attempt to correspond.
    • After the inmate is notified of the correspondence restriction, any further attempt to correspond will be considered a violation of Administrative Rule 33-210.102 and of Section 9-14 of the Rules of Prohibited Conduct, (Administrative Rule 33-601.314, F.A.C.) and will subject the inmate to disciplinary action.
    • iv.This restriction does not apply to civil pleadings or other legal documents pertaining to a civil case in which both the inmate and the receiver are parties, and no inmate shall be subject to discipline for mailing such items.

If you need more information on Writing an Inmate, see Rule 33 210.101 Florida Administrative Code or e-mail us at: central.classification@fdc.myflorida.com.