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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.

On April 17, 2017, the Virginia Department of Corrections will implement additional mailroom security measures aimed at detecting and eliminating contraband in DOC facilities. In institutions classified as Security Level 2 and above, all incoming general offender correspondence items will be photocopied, and only the photocopies will be delivered to the offender.

The original envelope and all enclosed contents will be shredded in the institutional mailroom once they are photocopied. In addition, for each mailing, a maximum of three 8 1/2 X 11 inch photocopy pages, front and back, will be delivered to the offender.

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.