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San Diego County Sheriff's Department
Friday August 24th, 2012 :: 02:13 p.m. PDT

Jail Postcard Only Policy

Beginning September 1, 2012, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department will adopt a new incoming mail policy for its seven jails. It means the only acceptable form of incoming mail will be postcards and electronic mail (email). Incoming letters will no longer be accepted and will be returned to sender. Mail postmarked before September 1st will be accepted and delivered. The only exception to this new rule is legal mail between the inmate and an attorney, courts and/or other law enforcement agencies.

Official mail sent directly from local, state or government offices will also be accepted. (i.e., “Social Security”, “Veteran's Affairs”, “Child Support Services”, “Unemployment”, “Welfare”, “Health and Human Services”, “Probation”, etc.) The letters will be inspected for authenticity prior to delivery to inmates.

Any mail from providers of post-release programming or services needs to be addressed to the counseling division for dissemination. It will be screened and provided to inmates.

The goal is to promote safety by limiting contraband such as drugs and weapons from being smuggled into jails via envelopes.

Any personal documents requiring inmate signature produced at the facility, where the inmate is housed, will be provided to the inmate for signature and promptly returned to the person delivering the document.

Postcards must be rectangular, at least 3½ inches high x 5 inches long but no larger than 4¼ inches high and 6 inches long.

Incoming postcards with any of the following will be deemed unacceptable:
•Altered or layered (taking two postcards and taping them together)
•Marked with paint, crayon, glitter, labels, stains, and cosmetics such as lipstick or perfume
•Depictions of nudity, weapons, gang references, criminal activity, codes, writings or images that may incite violence, riot, racism or threaten the security of any San Diego County jail facility.

Photo postcards will be accepted. You can still deposit money to an inmate's account by visiting any detention facility or online through the Sheriff's Commissary or by contacting the inmate's attorney to facilitate a deposit.

Inmates can still write letters from jail.

Notifications about the new postcard only policy have been posted in cell modules and jail lobbies. For more information, visit

Helpful Links:

Who's in Jail

Jail Commissary

Detention Facilities

Commander Rich Miller of the Sheriff's Detention Services Bureau explains the new inmate mail policy on the Sheriff's YouTube Channel .

San Diego County Sheriff's Department
9621 Ridgehaven Ct
San Diego, CA 92123

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 858-565-5200


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