Inmates are encouraged to maintain relationships with family members, friends, and other community members through correspondence. Except for “Special Mail”, all outgoing mail shall not be sealed by the inmate and may be read and inspected by staff. Outgoing mail will normally be processed by 8:00 AM Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
Your mailing address is:
Federal Detention Center
Register Number & Unit Assignment (i.e., Unit GA)
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198
All out going correspondence must have all of the above information listed, or it will not be mailed. Incoming mail must have your unit assignment on it.
Inmates are not permitted special mail privileges, i.e., overnight delivery services, express mail, etc. Questions concerning certified mail and ensured mail should be directed to your Unit Team.
Incoming general correspondence mail will be opened by the Mail Room Officer(s) and inspected for funds and contraband. Authorized mail includes letters, magazines and paperback books. An inmate may receive hardcover publications, newspapers, paperback books and magazines only from the publisher, book club or bookstore. The Warden may have all incoming publications inspected for contraband. The Warden may designate staff to review and where appropriate to approve all incoming publications in accordance with Program Statement 5266.11. You may not retain more than 5 publications in your possession at any one time. Inmates require written authorization prior to mailing or receiving packages. Specific requests may be submitted to your Unit Team. Unauthorized mail includes musical greeting cards, Polaroid photos, nude personal photos, plant material, non-inspectable items, etc. All unauthorized mail will be returned to the sender along with a rejection form explaining why the mail was rejected. Mail will normally be distributed after the 4:00 PM count.
Correspondence with any other inmate requires prior approval. You may request approval from your Unit Team. Approval is limited to immediate family members or persons whom you are actively involved in an on-going legal case or appeal (e.g., co-defendants).
Inmates found to be communicating with inmates in other units through note passing, communicating through the windows and/or through plumbing pipes, etc. can receive disciplinary action.
For incoming correspondence to be processed under special mail procedures, the specific sender must be adequately identified on the envelope, and the front of the envelope must be marked “Special Mail – Open only in the presence of the inmate”. “Special Mail” includes correspondence received from the following: President and Vice President of the United States, Attorneys, Members of the U.S. Congress, Embassies and Consulates, the U.S. Department of Justice (excluding the Bureau of Prisons but including U.S. Attorneys), other Federal law enforcement officers, State Attorney Generals, Prosecuting Attorneys, Governors, U.S. Courts (including U.S. Probation Officers), and State Courts. The Warden or designee shall open incoming special mail only in the presence of the inmate for inspection for physical contraband and the qualification of any enclosures as special mail. The correspondence may not be read or copied if the sender is adequately identified on the envelope, and the front of the envelope is marked “Special Mail-Open only in the presence of the inmate”. In the absence of either adequate identification or the “special mail” marking , as indicated in this section, appearing on the envelope, staff may treat the mail as general correspondence and may open, inspect, and read the mail. It is your responsibility to inform your attorney of the procedure for handling Special Mail.
You may not receive packages through the mail without prior written approval. We do not ordinarily authorize any packages with the exception of release clothing or legal materials. Per Program Statement 5800.10, Change Notice 01, dated August 19, 1998, all incoming inmate property packages must be authorized in advance, unless otherwise approved under another Bureau policy. An Authorization to Receive Packages or Property, BP-331(BP-S331) shall be used for this purpose. A BP-331 shall remain valid for no longer than 60 calendar days from the date of approval.
If you are an indigent pre-trial or holdover inmate, you may be eligible to receive three postage stamps per week. If you are a sentenced inmate without funds, you are eligible to receive five postage stamps per month. Stamps are obtained through the unit staff with the Unit Manager’s approval. You will be able to purchase stamps from the Commissary on your purchase day. Inmates will not be able to possess more than 1 book of postage stamps or the equivalent of 20 stamps. If you require more postage, see unit team for approval. You may not receive stamps, or anything else of value, in the mail. Any unauthorized items will be returned to the sender. Correspondence will not be restricted as long as you do not abuse the privilege.