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
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.
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