Sending Mail to Inmates in Washington
Inmates incarcerated in a prison in Washington State are allowed to send and receive correspondence. All incoming mail must have a clear and legible return address in the upper left hand corner of the envelope, display the inmate's full name and ID number and the facilities address. You should format the mail you send to an inmate as follows:
Inmate Name, DOC Number
PO Box or Street address
City, State, Zip Code
At no time can you mail an inmate stamps, paper or other items. Things like stamps, paper, pens, snacks, hygiene items, etc. can all be purchased from the commissary by the inmate. You are not allowed to send cash and personal checks, read the inmate funds section on this page for information on how you can send money to inmates in Washington.
All mail is opened and inspected to ensure contraband does not enter the facility.
Offenders are also allowed 4"x6" photos. Polaroid and instant photos present a security risk and are not allowed. Photos may not contain nudity or anything sexually suggestive. You can send up to five photos at one time in an envelope using a single stamp.
Sending Inmate Care Packages to Inmates in Washington
Offenders can send a package authorization form to anyone who wishes to order a care package. Inmates are allowed one gift package (under 15 pounds) each month and quarterly food packages. To ensure your package is delivered you should contact the inmate directly and verify eligibility. Furthermore you should accurately enter all information during your order, including the inmate's name, DOC number, location, and your return address. Inmate care packages can be ordered through Access SecurePak and Union Supply Direct. For more information on sending packages to inmates in Washington read the DOC policy here.
How to Send Books and Magazines to Inmates in Washington
Books are not considered a care package, rather they are considered regular mail, so ordering books for your offender should not count against their package allowance. Inmates who are housed in their permanent facility (who have passed through reception) can receive new books, newspapers, and magazines that are sent directly from a publisher like Amazon.com. When ordering publications from Amazon.com you must have them directly mailed to the inmate's name and ID number and use the facilities mailing address. No publications may contain nudity, or explain how to manufacture drugs, alcohol or weapons. If you want to learn more about sending these items to an inmate read about it here.
Sending Money to Inmates in Washington
All inmates have access to a personal trust account, and can use funds they accumulate to purchase items from the commissary. The commissary is a small store within the prison that sells items like snacks, hygiene items, clothing, stamps, stationary, electronics, games and more. Friends and family can send funds to an offender using several different techniques including:
- Walk In
Before you can send the funds you will need to know:
- The Inmates Name
- The Inmates DOC Number
- The current location of the inmate
Deposit by Walk In
Friends and family members can deposit money by visiting any Western Union or MoneyGram location (MoneyGram locations include any CVS or Walmart).
For MoneyGram you will need to use the receive code 7949.
For Western Union you will need to use the Quick Collect form and use the Code City "WA DOC", the State as "WA", and the account number will be the DOC number followed by the inmate's last name with no space between them (for instance 123456Smith).
Both companies will charge a fee and accept cash, or debit card.
Deposit by Internet
Deposit funds to an inmate's account online through JPAY, or Western Union. Each of these companies will charge a fee to send the funds, and allows you to use a debit or credit card.
Deposit Funds Over the Phone
Deposit funds to your Washington inmate's trust fund account over the phone by calling JPAY at 1-800-574-5729, or through Western Union at 1-800-634-3422. Both of these companies charge a fee for sending the funds.
Deposit Funds Through the Mail
This method of sending funds to an inmate has the lowest fee associated with it, however it is also the slowest method. You can send the funds by using a cashier's check or money order. United States Postal Money orders seem to work the best and can be purchased at any US post office. Make the funds payable to the inmate's name and DOC number. Additionally, you can specify the account you want the funds to by clearly specifying in the memo field spendable (inmate can use for anything), postage (inmate can use for postage only), medical (inmate can use for medical expenses only), or educational (inmate can use for educational purposes only). Send the completed money order in an envelope that includes your name and return address to:
For more information on sending funds to an inmate, read our guide here.
Washington Inmate Phone Calls
Inmates incarcerated in Washington prisons are allowed to make outgoing collect calls, and pre-paid calls only. At no time can an offender receive an incoming call. If an emergency exists, such as a death or serious illness in an immediate family member, you must contact the inmate's counselor during normal business hours or contact the shift officer after normal business hours and explain the situation. They will need to verify the emergency, for more information on emergency calls read the facilities procedure here.
All calls are recorded and monitored and are limited to a duration of 20 minutes to allow time for all offenders to use the phones. Three way calling, call waiting, and call forwarding is prohibited and may result in your phone call being dropped.
The phone service provider for Washington DOC is Global Tel*Link (GTL for short). A pre-paid account through GTL will offer a slight savings per minute over collect calls. You can setup your account online by visiting the GTL OffenderConnect website here, or by calling 1-877-650-4249 or 1-800-483-8314.
GTL will charge you a fee for each call, plus a rate per minute. You may be able to drastically reduce your inmate phone bill by setting up your account with a number local to the facility. Learn more about how you can save money on your inmate phone calls.