Mailroom: Frequently Asked Questions

1. Q. How do I address a letter to an inmate?
A. In the upper-left corner of the envelope, you must have the name of sender and complete return address including city, state, and zip code. In the middle of the envelope, you must have the inmate’s incarcerated name, SCDC inmate number, living/dorm unit, institution name, complete address of the institution including city, state, and zip code

Example: envelope with full address and return address
2. Q. How do I find the dorm/living unit or the mailing address for an inmate?
Use the online inmate search. When you've found the proper inmate, click on the name, and the "Inmate Search Detail Report" is displayed. Look in the right column ("INMATE SENTENCE AND LOCATION") for the SCDC ID (inmate number), LOCATION (institution name), and DORM-ROOM-BUNK (living/dorm unit). You'll find institution mailing addresses here.
3. Q. How many pictures may I send an inmate?
A. Only 10 photos per envelope are permitted. If more than 10 pictures are sent, the inmate will have the option to select 10 pictures, all others will be sent to contraband or discarded by the inmate.

Note: Inmates housed in an RHU (Restricted Housing Unit) or R&E (Reception and Evaluation) cannot receive any photos.
4. Q. Can I send cash, a check, or a money order to an inmate?
A. Not by mailing directly to the inmate or to SCDC, but family members and friends can make deposits into an inmate's personal spending account (Cooper Trust Fund account) by mailing a money order and deposit slip to a special address. See details here. Note that inmates can receive money faster if you use a computer, mobile app, or telephone to make a deposit.
5. Q. How many newspaper/magazine clippings/crossword puzzle pages or info from the internet (except for info from SCDC website) may I send?
A. Up to five (5) pages per envelope, provided that the contents do not depict questionable material.
6. Q. Can I send an inmate a Bible, Quran, magazine or a book?
A. Inmates may receive single copies of publications from a publisher or publication supplier (e.g., Amazon or a bookstore) if paid for in advance by the inmate, family member, or friend. A legitimate invoice on business stationary/company letterhead must be enclosed with the publication(s). Note: inmates who are in intake status or restricted housing (RHU) may not receive any publications including newspapers and magazines.
7. Q. I sent an inmate mail a while ago, but he/she never received it. What should I do?
A. The mailroom staff work diligently to process all incoming mail daily to approximately 26,000 inmates across the state. If the mail was questionable for any reason (gang related, sexually explicit, drugs, guns, etc.) it may be delayed for investigation purposes. However, it could be returned to you, so please allow 2 weeks for it to be processed through the U.S. Postal Service.