Published on August 27th, 2014 | by Samantha Levine


How to Send Magazines/Books to Inmates

Today, in America, over 2 million people are currently incarcerated. Chances are, at some point you may know someone who is or who will be incarcerated during your life. Obviously, life in prison is not ideal, and far removed from many of life’s comforts. However, reading does not have to be one of them; and is in fact one of the only pass times allowed to people in prison. Sending packages to inmates is a bit more complicated than expected, and certain protocol has to be followed in order for your package to arrive to its intended recipient.

Before you order books & magazines:

One important thing to consider is whether or not the inmate can receive a book or magazine directly from the publisher. The best way to find this information is to check on the Department of Corrections website. You can also try calling the facility in which you are trying to send to and speak with a member in the mail room. The inmate in whom you are sending to can also find out this information as well.

Basic guidelines to follow for sending a book or magazine to an inmate:


The service must use the United States Postal Service. Any private mailing services like UPS or FedEx will be refused.

icon-magazine-publisherBooks and magazine subscriptions must be sent directly from a publisher or distributor. Packages from personal addresses will not be accepted.


Be sensitive about the subject of the magazines or books you send. Anything contains nudity will be rejected by the facility.

peace_sign_icon_3_svg_scalable_vector_graphicsMagazines and books should not contain any inflammatory material such as gang related, racist and violence.


Hardcover books will often be returned so paperbacks are highly recommended.


Magazines must be of the current month’s edition only. (May not apply to all facilities)

com.barisefe.gazetelerThe number of monthly subscriptions one person may be allowed can differ from state to state. Make sure not to send too many at once.

id_cardCheck the address. Prisons have strict rules about how mail must be labeled in order to reach the right person, and identification numbers are commonly needed on the address label.

What are some most popular magazines to send to a prison?

What happens if the magazines don’t get through the mail room or are returned to you?

While these rules are generally accepted around the US, it’s important you make sure to check with the institution you are sending to before making any purchases, so that you are sure your mail is received. Mail rooms check everything that is sent to an inmate. If the mail room decides that the inmate cannot have something, it will give a notice to the inmate and return the materials to the sender.

Using an Inmate Magazine Service

Being incarcerated is a tough thing to go through, and reading materials can make a huge difference to someone who is currently in prison. Using a inmate magazine service will make it low cost, and the ongoing gift of a monthly or quarterly magazine could mean the world to someone who has limited options for a pass time. Magazine Discount Center will also offer a full refund for any subscription that does not get accepted to the sender. A subscription to Rolling Stone or Vanity Fair may seems like a small indulgence, however it can also be used as a major connection to the world.

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About the Author

Samantha Levine is a freelance writer for Magazine Discount Center. In her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling, and reading in coffee shops.

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