How to Send Inmates Books

How to Send Inmates Books: A Guide to Providing Access to Reading Materials


Books can be a powerful tool for personal growth, education, and entertainment. However, for individuals serving time in correctional facilities, access to books may be limited. Sending books to inmates can make a significant impact on their rehabilitation and mental well-being. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on how to send inmates books, ensuring they have access to reading materials that can help them in their journey towards self-improvement.

Step 1: Research the Correctional Facility’s Policies

Before sending books to an inmate, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the policies and regulations of the correctional facility where the inmate is housed. Each facility may have specific guidelines regarding the type of books allowed, the number of books an inmate can receive, and the format in which they should be sent (e.g., hardcover, paperback, or softcover).

To obtain this information, visit the facility’s website or contact their mailroom directly. It is essential to follow these guidelines to prevent any issues with the delivery of the books.

Step 2: Choose Appropriate Books

Once you are aware of the facility’s policies, the next step is to select books that align with the guidelines. While different facilities may have varying restrictions, some common guidelines include:

1. Paperback books: Many facilities only allow paperback books due to concerns about hardcover books being used as weapons.

2. No explicit or violent content: Avoid sending books that contain explicit sexual content, excessive violence, or themes that may promote hatred or discrimination.

3. Educational and self-help books: Encourage personal growth by sending educational materials, self-help books, and inspirational stories. These can aid inmates in acquiring new skills, developing a positive mindset, and preparing for their reintegration into society.

4. Classic literature: Many facilities appreciate receiving classic literature, as these books have stood the test of time and often contain valuable life lessons.

Step 3: Purchase and Ship the Books

Once you have selected appropriate books, you can purchase them through various online platforms, such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble. When ordering, ensure that the shipping address is the inmate’s correct name and identification number, along with the facility’s address.

It is advisable to request a shipping confirmation and tracking number to ensure that the books are successfully delivered. Additionally, follow any specific packaging instructions provided by the facility to avoid potential issues.


1. Can I send used books?

While some facilities accept used books, others only allow new books to be sent directly from the publisher or an approved vendor. Check the specific guidelines of the facility to determine their policy regarding used books.

2. Are there any restrictions on the number of books I can send?

Individual facilities may have limits on the number of books an inmate can receive. It is essential to check the guidelines of the facility to ensure compliance.

3. Can I send magazines or newspapers?

Some facilities allow the delivery of magazines or newspapers, while others do not. It is best to check the guidelines of the specific facility to determine their policy on these materials.

4. Can I include a personal note or letter with the books?

In most cases, you can include a personal note or letter along with the books. However, it is vital to avoid any content that violates facility rules or contains inappropriate language.


Sending books to inmates can significantly contribute to their personal growth, mental well-being, and rehabilitation. By following the guidelines and policies of the correctional facility, you can help provide access to reading materials that can positively impact an inmate’s life. Remember to research the specific guidelines of the facility, choose appropriate books, purchase and ship them correctly, and comply with any additional instructions provided. By doing so, you can make a meaningful difference in an inmate’s journey towards self-improvement and successful reintegration into society.

Scroll to Top