For Inmates' Friends, Families, and Visitors

The Rhode Island Department of Corrections recognizes that the experience of having a loved one or friend incarcerated is difficult and can be very stressful. We have attempted to centralize the most sought-after offender-related information under one heading in the hopes of making your experience go more smoothly. You are encouraged to explore the entire site as it might answer many of your questions more quickly and efficiently than a phone call or letter.

Securus and the RIDOC now offer an automated way for the public and inmates to get inmate-specific and general facility information directly over the phone without the wait! Access updated information 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by calling:

401-414-2871

Friends & Family can receive the following general information or inmate-specific details:

  • Locations/Directions

  • How to send money

  • How to send mail

  • Victim Information

  • Inmate property policies

  • How to fund a Securus phone account

  • Criminal Charges

  • Bond information

  • Visitation Times

  • Inmate ID

  • Inmate location

Inmates can dial “444” from any Securus phone to receive the following information about themselves:

  • Criminal Charges

  • Release date (if applicable)

  • Other information


Sending money to inmates

Please be advised that JPay on-line deposits will no longer be accepted. In order to make a deposit into an inmate’s account there are several options available:

  • Go to AccessCorrections.com to make a deposit to an inmate’s account.

  • Download an Android or IOS app from your smart device.

  • Call toll free 866-345-1884 to speak to a representative 24/7. Bilingual representatives are available.

  • Go to a cash walk-in location. Visit www.CashPayToday.com to enroll and find a location near you. You can call 844-340-CASH(2274) for more information.

  • Utilize the Lobby Kiosk at the Travisono Intake Service Center.

  • Make a deposit in person at the Inmate Accounts Office, West Road, Cranston, RI between 9am and 11am or 1 pm and 3 pm.

  • For more information about Inmate Accounts, click here

Inmate Mail

The information listed below is a brief overview of the RIDOC mail policy. To view the entire inmate mail policy click here. To view the policy in Spanish, click here.

The RIDOC mail procedure assists inmates in social, legal, business and other correspondence deemed appropriate.

FAQs

Are inmates allowed to send and receive correspondence?

Yes.

May I send an inmate a letter or package to an inmate using UPS, Federal Express or some other commercial mail service?

All mail (letters, packages, etc.) is only accepted when arriving through the U.S. Postal Service. Packages arriving from any other source are not accepted.

May I send books or magazines to an inmate through the mail?

Refer to the Inmate Mail policy for details.

May I send something to an inmate in a colored envelope?

No. Effective October 1, 2012, per policy, all incoming mail for inmates must be in a white envelope, with the exception of manila envelopes from attorneys.

May I send something to an inmate C.O.D.?

No. Postage for all items sent to inmates through the U.S. Postal Service must be paid by the sender.

What if I send a letter/package to an inmate and I did not put enough postage on it?

If the item has a return address it is sent back to the sender. If there is no return address, it is returned to the Post Office.

May I send postage stamps to an inmate?

No. Inmates must purchase postage stamps through the inmate commissary. You may not give an inmate stamps at a visit.

Can I send money or a check to an inmate through the mail?

No. Any cash, checks, postal notes, money orders, or drafts found in incoming mail are seized and forwarded to the Inmate Accounts Office to be deposited in the inmate’s account, according to RIDOC policy 2.09 DOC, Accountability of Inmate Money/Checks or a successive policy. A receipt of the transaction is given to the addressee/inmate, and a copy is placed in the inmate’s facility file. In order to mail deposits directly to an inmate’s account please view (link to inmate accounts).

Can I send a letter to an inmate Certified Mail?

Yes. The mailroom officer delivers the Certified Mail to the inmate who signs the green receipt card. This receipt is returned to the sender via the U.S. Postal Service. The mailroom officer also records the date the Certified mail was received and when it was delivered to the inmate.

Is there a limit on the amount of mail an inmate can receive or send?

No. As long as an inmate or sender bears the mailing cost, there is no limit on the number of letters inmate can send or receive. However, if there is a reasonable belief that it is necessary to limit the amount of mail an inmate send or receives to protect public safety or institutional order and security, assist the rehabilitation of an inmate, and/or prevent the furthering of illegal activities the inmate’s mail may be limited.

Is incoming mail opened?

Yes. All incoming non-privileged mail may be opened inspected for contraband and read by authorized RIDOC institutional staff pursuant to 24.01-5 DOC Mail, or a successive policy. Incoming non-privileged mail is disapproved only to prevent interference with facility goals of security, order, discipline, rehabilitation, if it might facilitate, encourage, or instruct in criminal activity, or contribute to a hostile work environment. Disapproval is not based upon an employee’s personal views of the merit of such mail. The RIDOC reserves the right to disallow personal photographs and/or facsimiles which feature nudity.

What happens if I send something to an inmate and it is removed from my letter/package?

If it is necessary to remove any item(s) from incoming mail, a written record is made of such action. A copy of the record is given to the affected inmate.

What happens to the item that was removed from the inmate’s mail?

When contraband which is not otherwise illegal is found, a notice is sent to the inmate, and the contraband is returned to the sender at the inmate’s expense. If there is no return address, and the contraband that is not otherwise illegal, it is destroyed. For the procedures which are followed when illegal contraband is seized, please refer to policy 9.14-2 DOC, Procedures for Detecting and Controlling Contraband on or in the Possession of Inmates, or a successive policy.

How long will it take for my mail to reach an inmate?

Incoming mail is distributed to inmates within 24 hours of receipt from the U.S. Postal Service whenever possible, excluding weekends, holidays and emergency situations.

What if I mail a letter/package to an inmate who has been released from the RIDOC?

If a forwarding address is available; all First Class mail (letters and packages) is sent to inmates at the specified address. If an inmate has been transferred to an out-of-state facility or a federal facility mail is forwarded to the inmate in care of the warden of that facility.

If a forwarding address is not available, First Class letters and packages are returned to senders.

Where do I send mail to an inmate?

Mail for inmates should be sent to the post office box for the specific facility the inmate is currently residing in. Click on Contact Us to find the facility names and corresponding post office boxes. Also, be sure to include the inmate's identification number on the mail.

Phone calls

The information listed below is a brief overview of the RIDOC telephone policy. The entire inmate telephone policy is available by clicking here.

The RIDOC affords inmates reasonable access to telephones, consistent with their status, housing unit regulations and the guidelines contained in the policy.

Securus, the telephone system provider, has a webpage where inmates' families and friends can set up accounts to receive calls and prepay phone minutes. The link is: https://securustech.net/.

FAQs

Are inmates allowed to receive telephone calls?

No.

Can inmates make telephone calls?

Yes. Inmates can now make collect or pre-paid calls. Pre-paid calls can be made using an ADVANCE PAY pre-paid account or using money placed in the telephone debit account.

Are there certain times when inmates are allowed to make telephone calls?

Each facility warden sets the schedule for inmate telephone use.

Is there a limit on the length of time for each telephone call?

All telephone calls except those between an inmate and his/her attorney are restricted to twenty (20) minutes.

How many phone numbers can an inmate have on their calling list?

Inmates are allowed to have up to ten (10) social and five (5) attorney numbers on their telephone list. Inmates may also call the RIDOC Special Investigation’s Unit (SIU) (401) 462-2282, the RIDOC Inspector’s Office (401) 462-2551, the on-grounds RI State Police (401) 462-2650 and licensed bail bondsmen.

Does the RIDOC monitor personal telephone calls?

Yes. All telephone calls, except those between inmates and attorneys or law enforcement agencies, are recorded.

Why are calls recorded?

Calls are recorded for security reasons.

Is the inmate and the person he/she is calling told that their conversation is being recorded?

Yes, callers are given advance notice that their telephone conversations will be recorded. Those persons accepting the inmate’s call are asked to agree to being recorded before the call is connected.

How often can an inmate change the numbers on their telephone call list?

Facility rules specify the times when an inmate may change the numbers on their telephone list.

What if there is a block on a civilian telephone of someone on an inmate's telephone call list?

Since the RIDOC does not know the reason for the block (there could be a no contact order in place) the call will not be allowed at any time.

When I am on a call with an inmate, may I try to forward the call to another person, or try to conference in another caller?

No. The call will be disconnected and the inmate may be disciplined.

If I have any type of telephone call connections problems, what number can I call?

Report any problems to GTL technical support at 1-877-856-3184 or 1-866-345-6088. You can also e-mail technical support at p_support@gtl.net. Billing and prepaid issues should be directed to 1-877-650-4249. Questions about the automated pre-paid service should be directed to 1-800-483-8314.

What if I receive unwanted telephone calls from an inmate?

Do not accept the collect call. If the calls continue, contact the facility warden. You may also contact the GTL technical service numbers above.

Inmate Telephone Privileges/Monitoring Policy 24.02-3 DOC

Visits

Visits are a privilege, not a right and this privilege may be approved, denied, suspended or revoked by RIDOC administration. Any visitor who violates any state law, DOC policy or facility-specific rule/procedure or poses a threat to a facility’s security may have his/her visiting privilege suspended or revoked.

Each facility warden determines the facility’s visiting schedule including the day and time for visits, the location and length of visits, the number of weekly visits per inmate and the number of visitors an inmate may have at any one visit. Each facility’s schedule is different.

For more information regarding visiting schedules, dress code and other visiting rules, click here.

Inmate Property

  • Property
    Inmates are not permitted to have property dropped off or sent to them. All property that inmates are permitted to have must be purchased through the inmate commissary. No mail, books, or other personal property except pre-approved court clothes may be left off at the facility for delivery to an inmate.

  • Court Clothes
    Contact the facility for specific information on dropping off or retrieving court clothes.

  • Legal Documents
    When it is necessary for an inmate to sign a tax form, or legal document the item should be mailed to the inmate so s/he can sign it and return it to you. Notary services are provided to inmates. In an emergency, contact the inmate’s counselor for assistance or ask the reception desk officer to contact the shift commander for assistance.

Additinal FAQs

What if I have a concern about my loved one and it is after hours?

Please call:

401-414-2871

How do I contact the Parole Board?

For questions related to parole or parolees, please call the Parole Board at (401) 462-0902. For additional information about the Parole Board, click here.

How do I report a concern if I suspect my loved one is being mistreated in prison?

Inmate abuse is not tolerated by the Rhode Island Department of Corrections. You are encouraged to bring such matters to the attention of the following:

  • Deputy Warden or Warden of the facility in which your loved one is housed,

  • Assistant Director of Institutions and Operations, or

  • the Director.

In addition, this Department has two separate investigatory units—Office of Inspection and Special Investigations Unit—that investigate legitimate complaints regarding both staff and inmate misconduct and matters related to institutional safety and security. Lastly, there is a State Police presence on the grounds.

To report staff misconduct:
Office of Inspection
39 Howard Avenue, Administration Building B, Cranston RI 02920
via collect call: 401-462-2551

To report inmate misconduct:
Special Investigations Unit
40 Howard Avenue, Administration Building A, Cranston, RI 02920
via collect call: 401-462-2282

To report criminal activity:
Rhode Island State Police Detectives
40 Howard Avenue, Administration Building A, Cranston, RI 02920
via collect call: 401-462-2650

Inmate life and operational issues (such as showers, telephone privileges, and recreation) are within the Warden’s purview. Due to the volume of calls to the Director's Office, it is important that both inmates and their loved ones use the existing chain of command when reporting concerns.

Individuals who wish to may write to the Director directly. However, she will refer your correspondence to the proper party, since using the established chain of command will help ensure the appropriate staff member(s) answer(s) your concerns in a timely and consistent manner. You can send her a copy of any letter you write to any staff member. However, by writing to the Director only, you are simply delaying any necessary investigation and/or corrective action.

How do I notify an inmate of the death of a loved one?

You should contact the Shift Commander at the facility (see "after hours" numbers above) who will in turn contact the chaplain. The chaplain will notify the inmate of the death as soon as possible.

What if I have a concern about my loved one’s medication or health?

Medical Program Director
Phone: (401) 462-2678
Fax: (401) 462-2000
E-Mail: medical@doc.ri.gov

Helpful Publications:

A Guide for Family & Friends of Male Inmates at the Intake Service Center

Una Guía para la Familia y Amigos de los Confinados en el Centro de Servicios (Intake)

A Guide for Family & Friends of Women at the Intake Facility

Una Guía para Familiares y Amigos de las Mujeres Encarceladas

Inmate Handbook

Please click here for a guide to new sentence reduction credits, not in place when the handbook was written.

Online Resources:

Stressed by worry and just need to talk? Call The Samaritans of Rhode Island at (401) 272-4044 or (Toll free in RI) 1-800-365-4044, or visit www.samaritansri.org