What mail will not be processed by Smart Communications?
Smart Communications is unable to process the following mail:
- Mail which is missing an inmate number
- Mail which is addressed to DOC staff members
- Mail which is addressed to JPAY
- Mail which contains cash, personal checks or money orders
- Mail which is bound in the center or is in a format which prevents scanning
- Mail that has been damaged by the United States Postal Services
- Legal Mail
- Books, magazines or calendars
- Mail sent in bulk
What should I do if the vendor will not accept the full Smart Communications address because it is too long?
The DOC accepts abbreviated forms of the Smart Communications address. Smart Communications can be abbreviated to "SC" and the institution name can be removed from address all together.
SC – John Smith/ AB1234
PO Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL 33733
If the address still does not fit you can leave SC out altogether.
John Smith/ AB1234
PO Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL 33733
What return address should inmates use on outgoing mail?
Inmates are required to use the Smart Communications address with their name and inmate number as the return address.
SCI Camp Hill
PO Box 33028
St Petersburg FL 33733
When will inmates receive their mail?
It can take 6-8 days for inmates to receive their mail. Smart Communications processes the mail within 24 hours of its reception at their processing center in St. Petersburg, Florida. However, it can take the United States Postal Service 3-5 days to deliver the mail to Smart Communications. A reasonable effort will then be made by the DOC mailrooms to ensure that incoming inmate mail is delivered to the inmate within 48 hours from the time the mail was made available to them from Smart Communications.
This excludes weekends and holidays, mail which contains content requiring review by the IPRC, and mail that is being held for investigative purposes at the prison.
What does Smart Communications do with the original mail?
All original mail will be retained for a period of 45 days unless otherwise instructed by DOC. After 45 days, original mail will be destroyed.
What happens to the electronic copies?
All scanned mail is uploaded to a database that is organized/sorted by inmate. It is sent to inmates' location six days per week. When the electronic mail reaches the facility, staff can approve, deny or forward mail. Approved mail is printed and delivered to inmates.
How long is the electronic mail saved?
Smart Communications maintains electronic copies for 45 days.
What happens if official documents are included in my mail sent to Smart Communications, such as drivers' license, social security cards, checks, court orders with raised seals etc.
Smart Communications will forward all official documents to the SCI business office where the inmate is located.
Can general incoming correspondence sent to Smart Communications be returned to the sender once its' been processed?
No. All general incoming correspondence will be destroyed after the 45-day retention unless otherwise instructed by DOC.
How will the senders of mail know when the mail is delivered?
Senders of mail who register with
Smart Communications can receive alerts when mail arrives at Smart Communication and when it is delivered to or rejected by the DOC.
Will the general incoming correspondence mail procedures delay the parole process?
Green sheets, home plans and other time sensitive matters will not be delayed.
Where can I get more information about Smart Communications?
The Smart Communications website is great resource of information regarding their services.
I accidentally sent my mail to the Security Processing Center address, not the Smart Communications address, what will happen to my mail?
All general incoming correspondence needs to be sent to the DOC’s third party mail vendor Smart Communications. Mail sent to the Security Processing Center will be processed through to the facility where the inmate is located. Upon arriving at the facility mailroom the mail will be denied and confiscated. Upon this denial if the inmate wishes to appeal they have 15 working days to notify the Facility Manager in writing, in accordance with the DC-ADM 804 Inmate Grievance System policy. If the inmate does not wish to appeal they can forward a cash slip with an addressed envelope to the mailroom within 15 working days from the denial to have the publication mailed out of the facility to friend or family member. Otherwise, the photo book will be destroyed.
I sent mail to an inmate through Smart Communications; however, the inmate never received the mail. What should I do?
You should reach out to the DOC mail procedures resource email at
RA-CRMAILPROCEDURES@pa.gov. Please provide the following information in your email:
- The exact address the mail was sent to
- The return address listed on the envelope
- The inmate’s full name and inmate number
- The mail carrier who delivered the mail
- Did the mail contain photos?
- Did this mail contain publications or materials which open like a book?