How to Ship to Federal Prisons in the United States

The biggest thing to remember when shipping to federal prisons is that you will be restricted to clothing and authorized medical devices, and you will need to obtain written approval from the institution
Ship to Federal Prison
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Are you trying to ship a package to an inmate in a federal prison in the United States? Shipping School has got you covered. Before we dive in, however, you should keep in mind that you can only send clothes and authorized medical devices if you want to ship to federal prisons, and you also need to obtain written approval from the institution before you send anything.

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You Need to Use USPS to Ship to Federal Prisons in the United States

The United States Postal Service is the carrier you’ll need to use for shipping to federal prisons. This is because inmates cannot sign for packages, and some prisons make use of P.O. Boxes. Since inmates can’t sign for deliveries, private carriers such as UPS and FedEx cannot deliver packages to prisons.

Keep the Restrictions In Mind

If you want to ship to an inmate in federal prison, you should keep the restrictions on what you can ship in mind…and these restrictions are pretty limiting. We’ve listed those for you below.

First, You Need to Obtain Written Approval

In order to ship to inmates in federal prison, you’ll need to obtain written approval from the inmate’s unit team, or another authorized staff member at the institution. Contacting the prison where the inmate is located for written approval is the absolute first step you need to take in order to ship there.

You Can Only Send Clothes and Authorized Medical Devices

Okay, so you’ve got your written approval and are ready for the next step. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website, clothes and authorized medical devices are the only items you can send inmates. That means you literally cannot ship anything else. No candles, no desserts, no nothing. However, inmates may receive magazines, hardcover books, and paperback books directly from any publisher. In that particular case, publishers can ship these sorts of items via USPS Media Mail Service.

Pro Tip: All federal prisons reserve the right to check incoming mail and packages for contraband…so, our official recommendation is that you don’t get any funny ideas.

You Can Still Use Shipping Software to Save Money on USPS Labels When Shipping to Prisons

As is the case for shipping all small packages, USPS will be your cheapest option, even if you could use another carrier like FedEx or UPS. When shipping to federal prisons, you can still use shipping software to buy discounted labels and save the most money possible when shipping with USPS!

When you use shipping software, you gain access to special levels of pricing that carriers usually reserve for shippers who send tens of thousands of packages each year. For USPS, this discount tier is called Commercial Pricing. With these discounts, you can sometimes save up to 89% off of what you’d pay to ship the same package at your local Post Office.

On top of the savings you enjoy, shipping software also allows you to schedule pickups for your packages from your home or office, as long as you prepare your shipments for pickup properly. So, you can save both time and money with shipping software by not having to go anywhere in the first place!

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