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Virginia Department of Corrections — Public Safety First

Inmate Mail

The Department of Corrections encourages inmate correspondence that is directed to socially useful goals. Inmates shall be allowed to correspond with families, friends, attorneys, courts and other public officials and organizations so long as such correspondence is in compliance with the Department of Corrections procedures and does not pose a threat to the security of the facility, violate any state or federal law, or violate any U.S. Postal Service regulation.

In accordance with United States Postal Regulations, all incoming inmate general correspondence may be opened, searched and may be read by authorized staff.

Effective September 1, 2015, all incoming envelopes containing correspondence of any kind will be photocopied, removed, and discarded by facility mailroom staff prior to the offender receiving their mail. The offender will then be provided with the photocopy of the envelope. To ensure the offender receives the return address, please place the return address on the front of the envelope.

Incoming general correspondence should be equivalent to or less than the contents of a one-ounce (1 oz.) domestic first class letter. (Approximately five (5) sheets of regular 8½" x 11" paper)

Inmates may not receive cash, personal checks, postage stamps or prepaid postage envelopes/postcards through incoming mail. The Department will assume no responsibility for these items mailed to inmates. Approved checks (certified/cashier’s checks; Government checks; refund checks from businesses) and money orders shall be removed from incoming mail and credited to the inmate’s account.

Incoming Priority or Express general correspondence is discouraged, however if urgency of a circumstance requires this, the inmate must receive prior written approval from the Warden/Superintendent or designee.

Unauthorized incoming correspondence shall be returned to the post office unopened. If opened, the unauthorized correspondence will be returned directly to the sender if known, with a written explanation for disapproval.

Incoming inmate general mail should be addressed as follows:

Inmate's full name
Inmate's state identification number (7 digits)
Name of Facility or Institution
Address and Zip Code

Facility/Institution mailing addresses are available from the Facilities section.