Crime, law & justice

Send mail to someone in jail or prison

If you want to send mail to a person who is incarcerated, you will first need to find their address. All mail must follow the rules set by the Philadelphia Department of Prisons (PDP).


Find an inmate’s address

If you’re not sure where a person is incarcerated, begin by following the steps to find an inmate. You will need the facility’s address and inmate’s ID number.

Format addresses like this:
John Doe PPN#123456
7901 State Rd.
Philadelphia, PA 19136

Get your mail ready

Some restrictions might apply to your mail. These rules keep contraband out of Philadelphia’s jails.

Letters, cards, or postcards

  • Use only pencil or pen to write your message. Do not use crayons or markers.
  • Write your letters on plain white paper. Colored paper, construction paper, or other specialty papers are not permitted.
  • Send your letters in a plain white envelope.
  • No more than two decorative stickers are allowed on each envelope.
  • Do not include any glitter on the card or in the envelope.


  • Photos must be 5 in. x 7 in. or smaller.
  • Photos must not feature nudity, weapons, money, or drug use.
  • Inmates are allowed to have up to five pictures.

Books, magazines, or newspapers

  • All books, magazines, and newspapers must come directly from third-party sellers. Acceptable vendors include Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Philadelphia Inquirer, etc.
  • No hardback books are allowed.


  • No packages are allowed.