Sending Mail to Inmates in Texas
Friends and family members of inmates in Texas are encouraged to communicate often through letters. All correspondence with the exception of legal mail may be opened and inspected for contraband. Inmates are not allowed to send mail to other offenders unless they are an immediate family member and have the permission of the warden. Furthermore, offenders are restricted from communicating with the victim of their crimes, and the victim's family.
In addition to letters, inmates can receive 4"x6" photos. Polaroid photos are not allowed as they present a security issue. No photos may contain nudity, sexually suggestive material, or depict any relation to gang activities (including tattoos and hand gestures). Offenders are also permitted to receive some stationary items sent directly from a legitimate vendor/stationary supplier. Contact the facility directly as items will vary from facility to facility.
All mail you send to an inmate in Texas should include the offender's full name, their Texas Department of Criminal Justice Number (TDCJ) and the unit's address. You should format the address in the following manner:
Inmate Name, TDCJ Number
PO Box or Street address
City, State, Zip Code
Inmates incarcerated in a Texas prison now have access to e-messaging. It is important to note, that inmate's do not have access to the internet. The e-message service is offered through jpay.com and is received in the mail room, printed and delivered to the inmate with regular mail. JPAY charges a fee for this service. While it is slightly faster to use this method of communication, many inmates have stated that they prefer hand written notes over the computer printed alternative.
How to Send Books and Magazines to Texas Inmates
Books, magazines and newspapers are all items Texas inmate's can receive, as long as they are sent directly to the offender through a reputable vendor such as Amazon.com. Books are restricted to paperback editions only, all other binding are forbidden as they present security issues. No publications are allowed to contain nudity, incite hate, contain maps, describe how to make weapons, drugs, alcohol or have any content that could potentially put the safety or security of the institution at risk. You can learn more about sending these items to an inmate by reading our article on Sending books, magazines and newspapers to an inmate.
Sending Money to Inmates in Texas
Inmate's in Texas have access to funds deposited into their personal commissary and trust fund. These funds can be used for a variety of things, from purchasing stamps and stationary, to hygiene items and snacks. Friends and family members can send money to an inmate in a variety of ways:
- By walk in
- Through the internet
- By mail
- Over the phone
In order to send funds you will first need to know the following:
- The Inmates Full Name
- The Inmates TDCJ Number
- The current location of the inmate
Deposit by Walk In
Deposit money by visiting any MoneyGram or Western Union location, this includes any CVS or Walmart.
When sending the funds through MoneyGram you will need to use the receive code 3570.
When sending through Western Union you will need to use the Quick Collect form and use the following information:
Pay to: TDCJ - Inmate Trust Funds
Code City and State: TDCJ/TX
Account Number: Inmates TDCJ number and last name with no space (for example Smith12345)
Attention: Inmate's last name, first name.
Walk in deposits can be paid with a cash or debit card.
Deposit by Internet
Deposit funds to an inmate's account online through several different companies: JPAY, TouchPay, Western Union, and eCommDirect. Each of these companies charges a fee to send the funds, and allows you to use a debit or credit card.
Deposit Funds Over the Phone
Deposit funds to a Texas inmate's trust fund account over the phone by calling:
JPAY at 1-800-574-5729
Touchpay at 1-877-868-5358
Western Union at 1-800-325-6000
All of these companies will charge a fee for the transaction.
Deposit Funds Through the Mail
Friends and family can deposit funds through the mail. You must first obtain a deposit slip from the inmate or by sending a self addressed stamped envelope to:
Inmate Trust Fund
PO Box 60
Huntsville, Texas 77342-0060
Once you have the deposit slip you can send a money order or cashier's check, payable to "Inmate Trust Fund for (inmate's name and TDCJ Number)". Money orders can be purchased at any United States Post Office. Send the completed money order and a completed deposit slip Inmate Trust Fund
PO Box 60
Huntsville, Texas 77342-0060
For questions about the receipt of a deposit you made you can contact the Trust Fund Department at 936-438-8990. They are not allowed to give an account balance or any other information other then to verify the receipt of a deposit you made.
For more information on sending funds to an inmate, read our guide here.
Texas Inmate Phone Calls
All inmates will establish a list of telephone numbers they can call during the initial intake process. This list can be updated periodically throughout the inmate's incarceration. All calls, with the exception of legal calls, can be recorded and monitored.
Telephone calls are limited in length, so it is a good idea to have a list of items you want to speak with your inmate about ready for when they call. Offenders are allowed to make outgoing calls only, and at no time can an offender receive an incoming call, or can staff relay messaged to an inmate. If a family emergency exists such as the death of a close relative you should contact the inmate's counselor, or the facilities Chaplain. Three way calls and call forwarding are prohibited and may result in the call terminating.
In order to receive calls you must first register your number by contacting the telephone vendor at 1-866-806-7804 or by registering through their website at texasprisonphone.com.
Inmates are usually allowed to access the telephones from 7am-10pm on most days, with the exception of lock downs and other security conditions. Calls are limited to twenty minutes in duration. Landlines and cell phones can receive calls from an offender, pre-paid cell phones and internet phone services will not be eligible to receive inmate calls.