Mail and packages

Getting mail

Prisoners should ask that their mail be sent to the prison they are currently in. Prisoners should remind the sender to make sure the return mailing address is clearly visible on the envelope or packaging. All mail received by prisons is recorded, opened and examined.

Legal mail cannot be opened but it must have an official stamp that is recognised.

Prisoners are allowed to receive mail from family and friends, legal representatives, and support groups.

Mail should take a day or two longer than regular mail to arrive due to the processing procedures.

Parcels must get approval by the general manager before they are sent in. Once approval has been given the prisoner will be provided with a confirmation slip.

The prisoner will need to forward this to the person mailing the package. They must make sure this confirmation slip is returned with the package.

Unacceptable mail

Mail can contain photos and newspaper clippings but not the whole newspaper. Letters must not contain threats, criminal acts or coded messages.

Inappropriate images and material will be removed. DCS will not accept mail or packages sent from someone who is not allowed to contact the prisoner due to an intervention order.

Mail received with stickers on it will be marked as return to sender.


If a prisoner is transferred to another prison their mail will be forwarded onto the prison they have been transferred to.

Sending mail

Prisoners are encouraged to write and materials are available from the canteen system. Prisoners can get two free stamps per week and buy more through the canteen system.

All mail is sent as regular class mail and there is no express delivery or registered mail. Prisoners can send mail to friends, family and even to another prisoner in another prison.

If there is an intervention order preventing the prisoner from contacting an individual then mail to that person will not be posted. Larger packages must be approved before we will send them. Prisoners are not permitted to write to any media outlets.

Help with writing

Prisoners can get help with reading and writing. A prisoner’s case manager, social worker or Aboriginal Liaison Officer will be able to assist. Prisoners can also attend courses to help with their writing skills.

Parcels and packages

Friends, families and support groups can send prisoners property including clothing for court appearances. All property sent in must be approved beforehand.

Prisoners must be completed asking for permission for the exact item to be sent in. Once approval is given the form is returned to the prisoner who must then send the form to the person sending the parcel. This form needs to be included with the package sent to the prison.

Mail and parcels are subject to all the regular property rules including size of the item count to the $500 limit and the 60 litre size of your cell and storage quota.

Prisoners should ask their case officer to request a property request form. All property sent in to prison will be examined for tampering and checked to make sure it is included on the approval form. Items not on the approval form will not be delivered.

Banned or prohibited items

Packages cannot contain anything that is on the contraband list for that prison.

In general this list will include items such as drugs, hazardous items and cash.  Letters must not contain threats, criminal acts or coded messages.

You can view an example list of contraband items.

Birthdays and Christmas

The canteen has a range of cards for birthdays, Christmas and other special occasions

Presents can be gifted. Volunteer groups such as ‘Second Chances’ and ‘Christmas Angels’ can assist in getting Christmas presents to prisoner’s children.

Some prisons have arts and crafts programs where prisoners will be able to create presents for their loved ones. Craft materials will need to be purchased via the canteen system.

The standard property rules apply for gifts being sent into prison.

The prison contraband list applies and gifts must be approved and accompanied with a completed approval form.
Specifically this means presents cannot be a surprise, they cannot be wrapped and those arriving wrapped will be opened for inspection.