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How to Get Mail to an Inmate in Maricopa County Jails

Sending regular Mail to an inmate in the Maricopa County Jail System:

A Maricopa County Jail (4th Ave, Durango, Estrella, Lower Buckeye, Tent City, and Towers Jail) can be a lonely place, and an inmate’s day can be brightened by something as simple as a single piece of mail. If you have a loved one in one of the Maricopa County jails, follow this advice to get mail to an inmate:

  • Send only metered postcards. As of May 1, 2007, neither stamps nor letters are allowed. This is to prevent unsafe items from traveling through the mail.
  • If at all possible, include the location of your inmate and the booking number on your post card.
  • Make sure your post card is at least 3.5 inches by 4.25 inches but no more than 4.25 inches by 6 inches.
  • Use blue or black ink when you write your postcard. Do not use any other color. Do not use markets, crayons, or paint. Only ink is acceptable.
  • Ensure that your postcard is not wrapped with plastic, defaced, watermarked, altered, or stained. As much as you might like to leave a symbol of love for your inmate, refrain from marking your postcard with perfume or a lipstick kiss. Postcards with any kind of biohazard are not permitted.
  • Do not place any labels or stickers on your postcard.
  • Refrain from sending mail that has gang references or depicts weapons or nudity. Such mail will be rejected.

How to Address the Postcard to an Inmate in a Maricopa County Jail

Ok, so now you know what can be sent to an inmate in a Maricopa County Jail (a postcard). So how do you address the postcard so it will be delivered to the inmate? Here’s the proper way to address the mail so it gets to the right person (eventually):

Correct way to address mail to an inmate housed in a Maricopa County Jail:

Inmate Name
Inmate Booking Number
[Address of the Jail]
So if we wanted to send a postcard to John Doe who’s at the 4th Ave Jail the address would look like:

John Doe
201 S 4th Ave
Phoenix, AZ   85003


What If I Want to Send Money?

You can also read our guide on how to put money on an inmate’s books.

Money may be sent to Maricopa County jails in envelopes. If you wish to get money to an inmate, send cash, a cashier’s check, a U.S. postal money order, or a Western Union Money order. Make sure the check contains the inmate’s name and booking number or that the cash has a note stating this information. Clearly mark “For Deposit Only” on the outside of the envelope. If you include anything else in the envelope, such as letters or photographs, it will be rejected.

What If I Want to Send Pictures?

People often want to get money to an inmate, but a picture is a treat as well. You can send up to five photos to the jail, or you can drop them off directly in the visitation lobby. Do not send Polaroids or any photo larger than 4 X 6 inches. Write your inmate’s booking number – and absolutely nothing else – on the reverse side of each photo. Make sure there are no labels, stickers, or other adhesives on your pictures.

We hope this guide on how to send an inmate was helpful. If you have a legal issue you’d like to talk about, please call (or email) us at (602) 307-0808 to schedule a free consultation. If you want to read more Frequently Asked Questions from the Sheriff’s Office, click here to go to their site.

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