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Care packages for a loved one in prison

There are few things that mean more to someone who is incarcerated than knowing someone is thinking of them. From writing letters, to planning visits and sending care packages, there are many ways to show someone who is justice-involved that you care about them. Sending care packages to a loved one in prison requires following specific guidelines set by the correctional facility. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you send a care package:

Contact the Facility: Reach out to the correctional facility where your loved one is incarcerated to inquire about their policies and procedures for sending care packages. They will provide you with information on what items are allowed, any restrictions, and the correct mailing address.

Review the Guidelines: Carefully review the facility’s guidelines for sending packages. These guidelines typically include restrictions on the types of items allowed, size and weight limitations, and packaging requirements. Make sure to adhere to these guidelines to ensure that your package is accepted.

Select Appropriate Items: Choose items that are permitted by the facility and that will be meaningful or useful to your loved one. Common items allowed in care packages may include non-perishable food items, hygiene products, books, magazines, puzzles, stationery, and prepaid phone cards.


Purchase Items: Purchase the items you wish to include in the care package. Make sure to check expiration dates on food items and avoid including any prohibited items such as alcohol, drugs, weapons, or explicit materials.

giving the perfect gift to an inmate


Package the Items: Carefully package the items according to the facility’s guidelines. Use a sturdy box or padded envelope to ensure that the contents are protected during transit. Avoid using wrapping paper or decorative materials that may be prohibited.

Address the Package: Clearly address the package with the correct mailing address provided by the correctional facility. Include your loved one’s full name, identification number (if applicable), and the facility’s address. You may also need to include your return address.

Fill Out Any Required Forms: Some facilities may require you to fill out additional forms or paperwork before sending a care package. Make sure to complete any necessary forms and include them with the package if required.

Pay for Postage: Take the packaged care package to your local post office or shipping provider to pay for postage and send it to the correctional facility. Be prepared to pay any applicable shipping fees.

Track the Package: If available, consider using a shipping method that allows you to track the package so you can monitor its delivery status. This can help ensure that the package reaches your loved one in a timely manner.

Follow Up: After sending the care package, follow up with your loved one to confirm that they received it and inquire if there were any issues or items they particularly enjoyed. This can help you plan future care packages more effectively.

Despite the hurdles one has to jump through, it’s more convenient than ever before to send something to a loved one in prison. By following these steps and adhering to the guidelines provided by the correctional facility, you can send a thoughtful and meaningful care package to your loved one in prison.