Support - General Questions

What is MailGuard?

MailGuard is a postal mail processing and scanning service that handles mail for participating correctional facilities such as County Jails, State Prisons, and Detention Centers. We receive, process, open, and scan postal on behalf of tens of thousands of inmates across dozens of States and deliver this mail electronically through our SmartJailMail kiosk and tablet system, as well as deliver electronic copies for printing at locations where our kiosks and tablets are not available. Processing mail in this manner helps to reduce contraband entering correctional facilities and results in a safer environment for both inmates and correctional officers.

How long does it take for the inmate to receive my mail?

Depending on where the mail is received, it will be forwarded to our processing center in Florida where it is opened, processed, and scanned the same day it is received. We process mail every day except Sunday. Our processing operation is capable of running 24 hours a day to ensure that all mail is processed in a timely manner.

Where should mail be addressed?

We have receiving mailboxes all over the United States. To determine the receiving mailbox address for the inmate you are attempting to contact, please create an account on this website and search for and connect to the inmate. The proper mailing address for their facility will be displayed once you are connected to the inmate.

How is personal mail handled at the processing facility?

When mail is received at the Florida processing center, it is opened and scanned into an electronic format. Depending on the receiving correctional facility, these scans are either delivered to the inmates directly through our kiosk and tablet systems, or are forwarded to the individual DOC facilities for review, printing, and delivery to individual inmates.

What does the inmate actually receive?

For locations where electronic delivery is supported on kiosks and tablets, the inmate will have direct access to the scanned documents through their SmartJailMail account. For locations where mail is printed and then distributed on paper, the inmate will receive a locally printed copy of the mail on 8.5" x 11" paper. The front and back of the envelope, and the front and back of each page of the mail contents are printed and delivered to the inmate.

How long is mail held at the processing facility?

Original copies of the postal mail are held at the Florida processing center for up to 60 days (the specific time period varies by correctional facility). This allows the original mail to be requested by the correctional facility for investigations, cases, or other purposes during this retention period. We may also re-scan mail during this period if a problem is reported with the original scan of the document.

What happens to mail after it has been scanned?

Mail is retained for a period of time as noted above. After the retention period, the physical mail is securely destroyed by shredding the original mail that was received.

If I send items with sentimental value such as old photos, medals, hand-drawn artwork, etc., will this be delivered to the inmate or returned to me?

Unfortunately, the original physical copies would be destroyed in accordance with the policies outlined above. We are not able to return mail to the sender in whole or in part after the mail has been processed. It is recommended that original documents, artwork, etc. NOT be sent through the postal mail to inmates at participating correctional facilities. Please send copies of these for scanning and delivery and keep the originals.

What happens if an official document such as an ID card, birth certificate, or social security card is sent with personal correspondence?

If any official documents are discovered in the mail, we will set these aside and forward them on to the individual correctional facilities for evaluation. These may be distributed to inmates or placed into inmate property per facility policy. Any documents forwarded will be subject to additional scrutiny and testing.

I sent mail to an inmate but it was returned to me as undeliverable. Why?

In order to ensure we properly deliver all mail received, it must be clearly marked with the inmate's name and ID number as well as the name of the facility at which they are housed. This should be clearly printed on the front of the envelope (not written in cursive or other stylized writing). If we are unable to determine who the recipient is it will be marked to return to sender without being opened. Additionally, if the inmate is not found in our database it may be returned to sender.

If my mail is rejected by the receiving facility, how can I be notified?

We recommend registering on this website to receive notices when your mail is received, reviewed, and delivered. If your mail is rejected for any reason by the facility, you can be notified with the reason why the mail was rejected in whole, or in part.

Can I track mail through the delivery process or be notified when it is received?

Yes, registering for an account on this website will allow you to receive notices when your mail is received, processed, and delivered. Updated information about MailGuard policies and procedures are also posted to this website.

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