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​Mail

In an effort to curb the introduction of drugs into facilities, the Department of Corrections (DOC) has overhauled its system for sending mail to inmates, and the DOC continues to make changes to its mail procedures to maintain the safety of all inmates and staff. This web page is dedicated to keeping the public informed with the most up to date policies and procedures regarding all of our mail procedures.

This page specifically covers how to mail General Incoming Correspondence, Photographs, Publications, Photo Books, Official Documents, Original Transactional Documentation, and Legal Mail, as well as provides answers to common Miscellaneous questions.

Questions about the DOC’s mail procedures can be emailed to RA-CRMAILPROCEDURES@pa.gov.

​General Incoming Correspondence

All general incoming correspondence needs to be sent to the DOC's third party mail vendor Smart Communications at the address below:

Smart Communications/PA DOC
Inmate Name/Inmate Number
Institution
PO Box 33028
St Petersburg, Florida 33733

General incoming correspondence includes but is not limited to letters, greeting cards, pictures, children's drawings, etc. Essentially it's all correspondence which is NOT legal or privileged correspondence.

All general incoming correspondence sent to an inmate must contain a full return address with a first and last name of the sender. It must also contain the full and correct inmate name and inmate number. Smart Communications cannot process any materials that are bound or open like a book, and all materials they receive which are bound will be rejected. Upon arriving at Smart Communications the mail will be opened and scanned into an electronic document. The electronic document will then be made available to the facility mailroom for printing. The mail will then be printed and delivered to the inmate by the facility mailroom.

All general incoming correspondence sent to Smart Communications will be printed on 8 ½ by 11 paper. For best results the DOC recommends sending mail no larger than 8 ½ by 11.



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Photographs

All photographs need to be sent to the DOC's third party mail vendor Smart Communications using the address format below:

Smart Communications/PA DOC
Inmate Name/Inmate Number
Institution
PO Box 33028
St Petersburg, Florida 33733

All photographs sent to an inmate must contain a full return address with a first and last name of the sender on the envelope. It must also contain the full and correct inmate name and inmate number on the envelope. Upon arriving at Smart Communications the mail containing photographs will be opened and scanned into an electronic document. The electronic document will then be made available to the facility mailroom for printing. The mail containing photographs will then be printed and delivered to the inmate by the facility mailroom.

Photographs are limited to 25 photos per mailing.  If a mailing has more than 25 photos, the entire mailing will be denied by the facility mailroom. Photographs containing obscenity, explicit sexual material, or nudity, as specified in Section 2 of the DC-ADM 803, Inmate Mail and Incoming Publications Procedures Manual are prohibited. 



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Publications

The DOC requires all publications be sent directly to the DOC's Security Processing Center (SPC), at this mailing address:

Inmate name, Inmate #
268 Bricker Road
Bellefonte, PA 16823-1667

The SPC processes the following materials:

    • Books
    • Calendars
    • Customizable Calendars
    • Photo Books
    • Magazines
    • Book Catalogues
    • Donated Books
    • Religious Material
    • Donated Printed Religious Material/Items
    • Bulk Religious Material
    • Donated Library Books (Need approval from SCI librarian)
    • Books for Staff
    • Religious Correspondence Course Materials
    • Education Correspondence Course Materials 

Family and friends may only purchase and send publications directly through an original source vendor, which includes publishers, bookstores and online distributors.  All books and magazines must be addressed to the SPC at the above address.

The DOC accepts both hard and soft cover books; however, the SPC may remove the cover of a hard cover book for search purposes. 



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Photo Books

The DOC now accepts photo books. A photo book is a customizable publication, ordered and delivered through an original/ third party vendor, which contains personal photos. All photo books must be sent to the DOC's Security Processing Center using the address format below:

Inmate Name/ Inmate Number
268 Bricker Road
Bellefonte, PA 16823-1667

The DOC requires all photo books sent to inmates must have a soft cover and are limited to a maximum of 25 pages and a size not to exceed 8x11 inches. A page is defined as: one side of a sheet of paper in a collection of sheets bound together, especially as a book, magazine, or newspaper. The front and back cover of the book, are not considered pages of the book, regardless of whether they contain photos or not. Each page may contain more than one photo. All photos must comply with the DOC’s content criteria, and originate directly from an original source/third-party vendor.



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Official Documents

Official Documents are personal IDs, papers, or credentials which are issued by a government entity or financial institution for a citizen. Official Documents include but are not limited to:

  • Checks
  • Passbooks
  • Birth Certificates
  • Social Security Cards
  • Driver's License
  • Personal Identification Card
  • Alien Registration Cards/Green Cards
  • Welfare Card
  • Medical Card
  • School Diploma

All official documents can be mailed directly to the institution address where the inmate is housed using the address format below:

Attn: Business Office – Inmate name/inmate number
Institution
Address Line #1
City, State Zip Code

Any other forms of general incoming correspondence, like letters, pictures, greeting cards, children's drawings, etc., that are included with an official document sent directly to the institution's business office are prohibited.



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Original Transactional Documentation

Original Transactional Documentation are documents in which the inmate needs to sign and return the original to the sender (i.e. transferring a vehicle title, etc.) Original Transactional Documentation must be mailed to the attention of the facility Business Office at the institution where the inmate is housed and must identify the inmate by name and number. The Business Office/designee will coordinate a time for the inmate to review, sign the documents if desired and pay the postage to have the document mailed out of the facility.

ATTN: Business Officer – Inmate Name/ Inmate Number
Address Line 1 
Address Line 2

This process is for transactional documentation only; inmates will not be permitted to keep original documentation sent through this process.

I have more questions about sending Original Transactional Documentation to an inmate. Who can I reach out to?

Please email RA-CRMailProcedures@pa.gov  for more information about the DOC's procedures with Original Transactional Documentation.



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Legal Mail/Privileged Correspondence

DOC considers legal mail (otherwise known as Privileged Correspondence) to be any mailing containing a DOC issued Attorney Control Number as well as a secondary authentication number (valid for one week) on the outside of the envelope, or any mail from a court entity containing a Court Control Number.

Any attorney, court or non-attorney/court entity wishing to send privileged correspondence must fill out a control number request form to receive their respective control number. Numbers will only be issued to attorneys who represent inmates or to verified Court/Court Entities.  Attorneys not representing inmates or other organizations that do not meet the criteria of a verified Court/Court Entity can utilize Smart Communications for all correspondence.

For Attorneys

The DOC requires all envelopes containing Privileged Correspondence from attorneys contain the following:

a. Full return address with the law office name and address;

b. Addressed as follows:

Inmate Name/Number
Institution
Institution Legal Mail Address

c. Attorney Control Number associated with the law office ; and

d. Secondary authentication number/time code issued for that week

For Courts/Court Entity

The DOC requires all envelopes containing Privileged Correspondence from courts contain the following:

a. Full return address of the court/ court entity

b. Addressed as follows:

Inmate Name/Number
Institution
Institution Legal Mail Address

c. Court Control Number associated with the court/entity address 

There is no secondary authentication number/time code associated with Court Control Numbers

*UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE SHOULD THE ATTORNEY CONTROL NUMBER, COURT CONTROL NUMBER, OTHER CONTROL NUMBER AND/OR SECONDARY AUTHENTICATION NUMBER APPEAR ANYWHERE OTHER THAN THE OUTSIDE FRONT OF THE ENVELOPE.*

Mail can always be sent from an Attorney or Court/ Court Entity to an inmate through Smart Communications.  However, any mail sent to an inmate through Smart Communications will not be processed as privileged.



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​Miscellaneous



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Smart Communications
State Correctional Institutes
Security Processing Center
What do they process?
What do they process?
What do they process?
Smart Communications processes all general incoming correspondence
  • Letters
  • Greeting Cards
  • Photos
  • Children's Drawings
  • Unbound Newsletters 
  • Note: bulk mail will not be accepted by Smart Communications

The SCIs process the following materials:
  • Newspaper subscriptions for inmates
  • TV Channel Guides
  • Mail addressed to Staff
  • Legal Mail 
  • Official Documents, which include but are not limited to:
    • Checks
    • Passbooks
    • Deposit Slips
    • Birth Certificates
    • Social Security Cards
    • Driver's License
    • Welfare Card
    • Medical Card
    • School Diplomas

All official documents must be mailed using this format:

Business Office —Inmate Name/Inmate Number
Address Line 1
City, State Zip Code


The Security Processing Center processes the following materials:
  • Books addressed to inmates
  • Photo books addressed to inmates
  • Calendars addressed to inmates
  • Magazines addressed to inmates
  • Donated Books from established book donation companies
  • Religious material addressed to inmates
  • Bulk religious material – need approval from SCI chaplain
  • Religious Correspondence Course materials
  • Donated Religious material – need approval from SCI chaplain
  • Donated Library books – need approval from SCI Librarian
  • Books addressed to staff
  • Education Correspondence Course Material  


What address should I use?
What address should I use?
What address should I use?

Smart Communications/ PADOC
Inmate Name, Inmate Number
P.O. Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL 33733


Use the SCI mailing address found on the SCI's webpage

Security Processing Center
Inmate Name, Inmate Number
268 Bricker Road
Bellefonte, PA 16823-1667