Sending Mail to Inmates in Iowa
Offenders incarcerated in Iowa are able to send and receive letters through the mail. All incoming and outgoing mail may be inspected and read with the exception of confidential mail (which includes legal mail, mail from government officials and law enforcement). All confidential mail must be clearly marked 'Confidential' on the envelope. Stamps and envelopes must be purchased by the inmate through the commissary, at no time can you mail postage to an offender. If an inmate is found indigent they will be given at least two stamped envelopes per week.
Friends and family members of inmates can also correspond with inmates electronically online through a system called "O'mail". O'mail is available at every institution except for ASP-Luster Heights. This service is provided through CorrLinks, and costs .25 cents for each mail you send. The electronic messages are limited to 13,000 character or 100 lines, which is approximately 2 pages printed. For offenders to respond back they must have money in their account to do so.
You may also send photos to your inmate. They must be no larger than 4"x6" and cannot be instant/Polaroid photos. In addition, the photos must not contain nudity or be sexual in nature. The Iowa Department of Corrections considers photos of someone in underwear inappropriate, but a swimsuit acceptable as long as it sufficiently covers the breasts and genitalia/buttock. A total of ten pages may be sent to an inmate, each photo counts as one page.
When sending mail through the postal service, you should always address the envelope as follows:
Inmate Name, ID Number
PO Box or Street address
City, State, zip code
How to Send Books and Magazines to Iowa Inmates
Friends and family members can also receive books, magazines and newspapers that are sent directly from a reputable company such as Amazon.com. Books must be paperback and must be new. Any other type of binding such as hardcover or spiral bound will be rejected by the facility. Inmates are allowed to have up to ten books in their possession at any given time. All publications, including magazines must not contain nudity, or anything sexual. In addition, publications must not contain maps, describe how to make weapons, explosives, or be written in code. If you want to learn more about sending these items to an inmate read about it here.
Sending Money to Inmates in Iowa
Inmates have access to funds that are deposited into their personal offender account. They can use these funds to purchase items from the commissary including stamped envelopes, food, clothing, electronics, games, and hygiene items. A portion of the funds you send to an inmate may be allocated towards outstanding debts the offender has, this includes restitution, court imposed fees and child support.
You can send money to an Iowa inmate through several different methods:
- Walk In
In order to send funds through any of the above methods you will need to know the following:
- The Inmates full committed Name
- The Inmates Identification Number
- The current location of the inmate
Deposit by Walk In
Friends and family members can deposit money by visiting any MoneyGram location, this includes any CVS, 7-11, Albertsons or Walmart. You will need to use the receive code 6185. The deposit may be made for a fee (usually around $8.95) and can be paid with cash or debit card. You can also do a walk in at any Western Union location using the quick collect form, you will need to know the following: Pay to "Iowa Dept. of Corrections", Code City is 'IOWADOC', state is 'IA', Account Number is the offender ID followed by offender last name with no space (for example inmate John Smith 5222 would have the following as the account number: '5222Smith'). You can also send money in person through Ace Cash Express locations.
Deposit by Internet
You can also deposit money to an inmate's account online through three different companies. JPAY, Access Corrections, and Western Union. Each of these companies charges a fee to send the funds, and allows you to use a debit or credit card. Funds are usually credited same day or next business day.
Deposit Funds Over the Phone
Deposit funds to your Connecticut inmate's trust fund account over the phone by calling JPAY at 1-800-574-5729, through Western Union at 1-800-634-3422, or through Access Corrections 1-866-345-1884. There is a fee associated with sending money through each of these companies. Funds are usually credited within 1 business day.
Deposit Funds Through the Mail
The lowest cost method of sending funds is through the mail, but it also takes the longest for the offender to receive. Send money though the mail by using a money order or cashier's check, made payable to 'IDOC Offender Fiduciary Account'. You should also include the inmates full name and ID number, as well as your complete name and address. If you do not write legibly the funds will be delayed or returned. You will need to send the completed money order to:
IDOC Offender Fiduciary Account
1550 L Street, Suite B
Fort Dodge, IA 50501
If you want to learn more about sending funds to an inmate, you can read our guide here.
Iowa Inmate Phone Calls
All inmates incarcerated in Iowa are allowed to make outgoing collect calls and pre-paid calls. You must be on an inmate's call list in order to receive phone calls from the inmate. In order to be placed on the call list, the inmate must submit your name and phone number. All calls may be recorded and monitored. The Iowa Department of Corrections charges a minimal rate for phone calls when compared to the cost in many other states. All proceeds of inmate calls are allocated towards maintenance, reporting of calls, and programs that benefit the inmates such as legal services, education, victim services, and religious activities. You can deposit funds into an inmate's telephone account by filling out this form, and following the directions at the top of the page.