How to send money to a prisoner

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How to send money to a prisoner
Prisoners receiving mail (Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Inmates can buy beverages, snacks, writing materials, shoes, clothing and toiletries in prison. If you have a friend or family member in prison and would like to send that person some money, keep the following guidelines in mind.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Send a cashier's check, a certified check or a money order. Obtain these from your banking institution at no cost. Money orders are typically available at many grocery stores' customer service department.

  2. 2

    Include the prisoner's name, as well as his identification number. This is the most accurate way to locate and identify an inmate.

  3. 3

    Make sure that the sender's name (in print) appears on the check or money order.

  4. 4

    Mail the certified check, money order or cashier's check to the facility where the inmate is housed. Write the prisoner's name and the identification number on the envelope.

  5. 5

    Send money through Western Union if you reside outside the United States and you're sending money to a federal prison. Include the inmate's register number (eight digits) and the inmate's name, as well as the city and state code.

  6. 6

    Deposit funds on an inmate's account by going to You need a credit card to deposit money online. You may deposit cash at the facility's lobby. The inmate receives a receipt of the amount deposited to her account and the date it was deposited.

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