Who can send mail to an inmate?
Anyone can send mail to an inmate with some restrictions. We will not accept mail from-
- An inmate in another corrections-monitored facility or treatment center.
- Someone who is acting as a go-between for inmates by taking mail received from one inmate and sending it to another inmate
- A victim of a crime that the inmate is in custody for either in pretrial or sentenced status.
On a case-by-case basis, a jail command officer may impose restrictions on with whom an inmate may correspond on a personal basis.
How can I send the mail?
We only allow inmates to receive mail sent through the US postal Service. We do not accept hand or courier delivered mail. We will not accept mail with postage due.
How do I address the mail?
Clearly write the inmate’s complete name. Do not use nicknames. If you know the inmate’s middle name or initial, please include those. Send mail to this address:
Inmate’s name Deschutes County Adult Jail 63333 Hwy 20 West Bend, OR 97701 Be sure to put your complete return name and address on the mail! We will not deliver or hold mail for an inmate if it is missing a return address.
Please hand write you return address rather than using gummed or adhesive labels. We remove such labels from mail before giving it to the inmate. Without a return address, the inmate may not be able to write to you because he or she will not know your address.
Do not place any stickers or non-postal related stamps on the mail or seal it with a “lipstick” kiss. Do not spray letter with perfume. Do not write or draw on the outside of the envelope other than the address information.
What can I mail to an inmate?
- Written correspondence (Except junk mail)
- Legal or personal-business documents
- Postcards and greeting cards
Cards must not contain metal, plastic, or other hard materials, be made or folded in a way that could hide contraband, or be larger than 9 by 12 inches. Musical cards are not allowed.
- Pictures (Limit of five per letter)
Pictures may be either photographs (up to 4 by 6 inches) or a printed piece of paper or photocopy (up to 8-1/2 by 11 inches). Multiple pictures or pictures mixed with text on a single sheet will count as one picture. Mounted, framed or Polaroid pictures are not allowed.
- Handmade Drawings (Limit of five per letter)
The drawing must be done in lead or colored pencil or ink. Other media forms or any foreign objects attached to the drawing are prohibited. A drawing may not exceed 9 by 12 inches.
- Newspaper or Magazine clippings (Must be photocopied)
- Photocopies and mass-or computer-printed text material (Limit of five per letter, 8-1/2 by 11 inches max.)
Examples: e-mails and internet pages. Sheets with pictures count as pictures.
- Pamphlets (Limit of five per letter)
Must be eight pages or less. Pamphlets over 8 pages long are considered books.
- Books (Limit of three per day)
Books must be ordered and sent directly form the publisher, a book club, or a bookstore. (You may not send books directly to an inmate.) The bookseller’s address must be imprinted on the package or mailing label. Books may be up to 9 by 12 inches in size and can be paperback only. Hardback books are prohibited. Books may be new or used. Books must not have a plastic or metal binding. Inmates in segregation may only receive new, paperback books.
Magazines, newspapers, and other periodicals must be new and sent directly from the publisher or a bookstore. (Caution: Periodicals with scantily clad women may be considered sexually explicit and thus be prohibited.)
- Money for the inmates account
Go to “How do I send money to an inmate?” for what is an acceptable form, source, and amount of money to send to an inmate.
What Can’t I mail to an inmate?
Contraband items. Contraband is anything jail staff does not allow an inmate to have unless they authorize it. It’s anything not specifically approved for mailing under “What can I mail to an inmate?” Commonly mailed contraband items are—
- Drugs (legal or illegal)
- Over-the-counter medications
- Glasses and contact lenses
- Bookmarks, postage stamps, stationery, writing or drawing materials, and paper clips
- Hardback books
- Transportation schedules, such as bus or train
- Stickers and decals
- Cosmetic, hair care, and hygiene items
- Food and clothing
- ID, phone, gift, or any other plastic card
- Locks of hair and ribbons
- Cigarettes, matches, and lighters
- Dried or pressed flowers
- Coupons, lottery tickets and bus tickets
- Compact discs and cassette tapes
- Items that exceed approved limits
- Items from a non-approved source
- Foreign substances, such as bodily fluids, lipstick, perfume, glitter, glue, and anything with unusual stains or odors
Items with contraband content, either as words or pictures. Contraband content is anything that may threaten the safety, security, good order of the jail or may be detrimental to an inmate’s rehabilitation. This includes content that-
- Threatens, plans, encourages, instructs in activity that is criminal or violates jail rules
- Could result in physical harm to anyone
- Is gang-related material
- Is sexually explicit material (This is the most common reason for confiscating an item based on content. Be careful what you send!)
- Is inflammatory material (This can include anything that incites or advocates physical violence against other or the supremacy or hatred of a class or group of people
- Is code or suspected code (This can include a foreign language if we are unable to find a translator in a reasonable period of time.)
- Is fraudulently marked as legal or official mail
Do you open and inspect mail?
All incoming and outgoing mail is subject to opening and inspection by jail staff.
What happens if I mail contraband?
One of four things will happen if we find contraband in your mail
- We will return it to you.
- We will confiscate it and not let the inmate have access to it while lodged.
- We will destroy it if it presents a health or safety hazard.
- We will confiscate it as evidence in a criminal investigation.
Depending on the degree of contraband violation, a jail command officer may restrict any future correspondence you have with an inmate.
Introduction of contraband into a correctional facility is a class C felony under ORS 162.185 and is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.00
How do I send money to an inmate?
You can include cashier’s checks, US postal money orders and government checks for credit to an inmate’s account in mail addressed to the inmate or just the jail. You may send cash, but we do not recommend it. We will not accept payroll, personal, business or two-party checks.
Make the check or money order payable to the inmate or to Deschutes County Adult Jail. If you make it payable to the jail remember to include the name of the inmate whose account you would like the money deposited to.
Whom do I contact if I have a question about inmate mail?
You can call the jail at (541) 388-6661, if you have a question about inmate mail.
May I call to confirm the delivery of an item?
No. It is the inmate’s responsibility to contact you to let you know they received something you mailed. Write to the inmate if you want to confirm delivery of an item you sent to him or her.
Whom do I contact if I have a complaint about inmate mail?
You can contact a jail command officer by calling (541) 388-6661, during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) if you have a complaint about inmate mail. You may also complete a Complaint form.