How it Works

It's very simple:

When you send a message our mail processors print the letter, stuff it in an envelope, stamp it and mail it on your behalf through the US Postal Service. The envelope is addressed to the address you provide and has your return address listed in the upper left hand corner. All letters, envelopes and PDFs are printed in black & white to comply with most prison regulations. If you attach a photo to your message, your photo is printed on our professional color photo printer on high quality 4x6 inch photo paper and mailed along with your letter. Each photo will have the inmate's last name and ID# printed on the front side of the photo. We also provide a Jmail Box option for those who live outside the USA or don't want to give out their home address to inmates. See the section about Jmail Box further down the page.

Getting Started:

Click the Sign Up button to create your account. The information provided here will be used for the RETURN ADDRESS on the letters you send so please use the mailing address you would like the inmates to write you back at. You can manage this information anytime by clicking "My Profile" in your account. If you want to use our Jmail Box option to use Jmail's address, please read about Jmail Box further down this page.

Manage Your Address Book:

Add the names and addresses of the inmates you correspond with to your Address Book. Similar to email, once in your address book, your contacts will now be available for you to contact with a single click. The address you provide is what is printed on the envelope so make sure you provide the correct inmate mailing address to ensure delivery of your letter. Please note: The mailing address of many prisons is different than the physical address so make sure you provide the correct address. Occassionally inmates are transferred to different prisons so you may need to update their address. You can do this at any time by simply clicking on their name in your Address Book under Manage Contacts. If you need to delete an inmate, just click the red X to the right of their name in your address book under Manage Contacts and they will be deleted.

Add Credits to Your Account: uses Paypal and Square to accept deposits to your account. Our system is setup to allow you to make deposits of :

  • 1 Mail credit - $1.00 - (2 credits required to send a letter.)
  • 2 Mail credits - $2.00
  • 3 Mail credits - $3.00
  • 4 Mail credits - $4.00
  • 5 Mail credits - $5.00
  • 10 Mail credits - $10.00
  • 20 Mail credits - $20.00
  • 30 Mail credits - $30.00

At we charge a base fee of 2 Mail credits per letter for the first 4 pages or 2000 words, whichever comes first (up to 2000 words or 2 total pages printed front and back) and 1 Mail credit for each additional 4 pages or 2000 words. Photos are typically charged at Buy 1 Get 1 Free for 1 credit, however, we sometimes offer specials where you can send more than 2 photos for 1 credit. You can also add PDF text files to your letters as well which are calculated into your 4 total pages. We typically do not allow photos or artwork to be submitted as a PDF but this can be done for an additional fee. To add Mail credits to your account click on the Deposit link under "Account Manager; or look for one of the "Add Credits" links throughout the website. If you don't want to use PayPal, you can use Square as they take most major credit/debit cards. There is a 5 credit minimum required to use Square. Once you have deposited funds you can begin sending messages and photos.

Unused Credits Expire after 1 year:

If you purchase credits from Jmail you must use them within 1-year of the purchase date or they will expire. There is an exception to this rule however; Jmail has set up this system to update your credit expiration date each time you buy new credits. So for example: if you purchase X number of credits on January 1, 2019, any unused credits would expire on January 1, 2020.


If you purchase X number credits on January 1, 2019 and then purchase more credits on July 1, 2019, your credit expiration for ANY and ALL credits in your account would change to July 1, 2020 (extending your expiration date). So those credits you purchased on January 1, 2019, and any credits you already may have had in your account, would extend now to a July 1, 2020 expiration. Your Credit Expiration date will be clearly listed on your homepage in your Add Credits box so you will always know when your credits expire.

Sending Messages:

To send a message to an inmate, simply click on "Compose" button and select if you want to send a letter or a postcard. Select the name of the inmate you wish to write by clicking the drop down button in the "Send To" section. The drop down will list alphabetically the names of all the inmates you have stored in your address book. Your Return Address will be your address by default. If you have Jmail Box, you will have the option here to choose Jmail's address as your return address. Then type your message in the "Message" box below and hit "Send" when finished. You will then see a FINAL STEP page where you can confirm all of the contents of your letter are correct.

Adding Photos/PDF Files:

You can add unlimited photos to each letter however keep in mind some prisons have restrictions on how many you can send. We suggest keeping it to 5 or less unless you know specifically that you are allowed to send more. Simply add photos by dragging the photo files from your computer right into the blue and grey "Attachments" box on the screen. The drop box is located right under the message box where you typed your letter. Jmail allows you to use .jpg, .png or .gif files when submitting photos. All photos are professionally printed in color on high quality 4x6 inch photo paper. Jmail' uses a professional photo printer, not an inkjet printer, so your photos are smudge free. The inmate's last name and ID# are printed in the bottom corner of the front side of each photo. We do not offer any photo sizes other than 4x6. Some prisons may require the inmate's name and ID# to be written on the back of each photo. If you are writing to a facility that requires name and ID# to be listed on the back of the photo please create a support ticket requesting our staff to do this for you each time you have a letter containing photos. Please provide the ID# of your letter with your Support Ticket.

You can send documents, typed letters and hand written letters saved as PDF files as well through our service. You don't have to write your letter in our text box. Create your letter in any word processor or hand write your letter and scan it and save it as PDF file and attach it just like you would a photo and we will print and ship your letter for you. All PDF attachments will be printed using black ink only to comply with most prison regulations. PDFs are not printed in color.


Jmail Box: (Receive Mail Through Jmail) - PREMIUM SERVICE

Rent a Box with Jmail! Our Jmail Box service is a great option for those outside the USA and for those who do not want to give out their home address to inmates. Jmail offers several subscription options to fit your budget, rent a box for as little as $4.99 per month. This service is great for several reasons:

  1. It only costs the inmate a first class stamp to send the letter rather than international postage.
  2. We receive the letters usually within 3-5 days of being sent so it gets to you faster than international shipping.
  3. Your address remains annonymous as the inmates send their letters to Jmail
  4. All your letters are saved online for you to access or download anytime from your computer or mobile device.

Your letters are shredded after 1 month to protect your privacy.
* If you would like your letters saved and shipped to you, sign up for our Jmail Box & Ship service. (details below)

How to Receive Mail Using Jmail Box:

Once you have purchased a Jmail Box plan you will have the option to select Jmail's address as the Return Address.

If you are using the Jmail Box service, tell your pen pals to write to you at:

Your Name (must match name on your Jmail Account)
c/o Jmail Box #720
13027 Victory Blvd
North Hollywood CA 91606

Messages take usually around 3-5 days from the time they are sent until the time they are in your inbox which is still faster than overseas mail and it also only costs the inmate a First Class stamp. Please note that our service does not hold mail, we scan it as it is received, so you never have to email asking if you have letters waiting.

When you receive a letter from an inmate using our Jmail Box service, when the letter is scanned and uploaded to your account you will receive an email notification to the email address you provided at sign-up notifying you that you have a messages in your Inbox. Please make sure you have marked our email as Not Spam or Not Junk so that you receive your notifications in a timely manner.

3rd Party Mail Warning for Sending Mail: Some prisons restrict the delivery of mail sent by a 3rd party. Mail sent using your personal or home address should never be flagged as coming from a 3rd party, however, if you use Jmail's mailing address as your return address, your mail could be rejected due to 3rd party mail violations. Please confirm that the prison/jail you are sending mail to does not have any 3rd party mail restrictions. If so, please use your personal address instead for those letters to avoid your mail potentially being rejected. Jmail is not responsible for rejected mail due to 3rd party violations as it is your responsibility to follow the rules of the prison to which you are sending correspondence.

Fee Structure (For Jmail Box):

Subscription Fee Options:

  • $4.99 - Per Month
  • or
  • $45.00 - 1 Year ($3.75 per month billed annually.)

This fee is to help cover the cost of the large post office box rental we must maintain as well as handling fees.

Scanning Fee:

  • 1 Mail credit per letter (for each 4 page images) - When you receive a letter you are charged 1 Mail credit for the scanning and processing of the letter to your account up to 4 page images. If your letter is over 4 page images you are charged 1 additional credit for each subsequent 4 page images.

Please tell your pen pals to NEVER send anything with tape or staples. For best results, please request your pen pals to write in blue or black ink, also to number their pages and write on the front and back to save paper.

What You CAN Receive with Jmail Box:

  • Standard letters on white or colored paper (white is easiest to read)
  • Photos (up to 8 1/2 by 11")
  • Artwork (up to 8 1/2 by 11")
  • Greeting Cards (up to 8 1/2 by 11")

What You CANNOT Receive with Jmail Box:

  • Items over 8.5 inces wide are not able to be fit in a standard scanner. You may be charged additional handling fees for large items as a special scanner will need to be used.
  • Arts and craft type 3D objects
  • 3D Popup Cards
  • Newspaper Clippings
  • Magazine Clippings
  • Items Taped Together
  • Stapled Pages
  • Packages
  • If Jmail cannot scan it, please ask your pen pal NOT to send it.
  • Create a Support Ticket if you may be receiving something that may not be scannable.


Your letters are shredded after 1 month to protect your privacy.
* If you would like your letters saved and shipped to you, sign up for our Jmail Box & Ship service. (details below)

Jmail Box & Ship: (We will forward your physical mail to you.)

Get all the benefits of Jmail Box plus get your physical letters shipped to you upon request!

If you want to get your hands on those original letters rather than having them shredded, then subscribe to our Jmail Box & Ship service. We will save all your scanned letters for you and mail them to you at your request. Whenever you are ready simply request a shipment (Go to Premium then Jmail Box & Ship from the drop down) and the mail will be packaged up and shipped to your home address. This service is great for several reasons:

  1. You get to hold on to these valuable keepsakes. Great also for inmates who send artwork!
  2. Flexible and affordable subscription plans to fit any budget.
  3. You can choose which letters you want to keep and which letters you don't.
  4. You only pay the actual shipping costs rounded to the nearest dollar. Jmail does not make a profit off the shipping.


How to Get Your Mail Using Jmail Box & Ship:

As you start to receive new letters from your Jmail Box service, they will start to appear on your Jmail Box & Ship page, located under the Premium tab in the navigation bar.

Want your letters shipped? On the Jmail Box & Ship page, choose which letters you want Sent and which you want discarded. Provide or confirm your mailing address, choose a shipping option and then click the "Send Me All" button once you have chosen the letters you want. After you have clicked this button, a support ticket is created with your request. Jmail will them send you the shipping price and upon payment you will receive shipping details including tracking # if available.

Mail Storage: Mail will only be held for the duration of your subscription. You must request your mail to be shipped by the end of your subscription. You can request your mail to be shipped to you by going to the Premium tab and selecting Jmail Box & Ship from the dropdown menu. Jmail will not continue to hold your mail without a valid Jmail Box & Ship subscription so it is important to make your shipping request while your subscription is active. In addition, Jmail asks all members to request their mail at least every 3 months regardless of their subscription length. * No mail will be held longer than 1 year.

Fee Structure (Jmail Box & Ship):

Jmail Box & Ship includes everything in Jmail Box but also includes the "Shipping" of your physical mail to you.

  • $9.99 - per Month
  • or
  • $80 - 1 Year (Best Value)

Jmail Forward Shipping Options & Fees:

Jmail charges the actual shipping costs rounded to the nearest dollar. (Ex. Shipping cost $5.89, your cost would be 6 credits, or shipping costs $5.35, your cost would be 5 credits)

* The minimum shipping fee is 2 credits so that we can cover the cost of mailing supplies.

While we have found the cheapest option is always a large flat envelope with 1st Class International postage through the USPS, Jmail also offers a package service using a more sturdy envelope to protect your letters better. (Recommended)

Please Note: due to the weight and size of your package, the cheaper shipping options may not be available. Priority Mail is available inside the USA. We will also provide Priority Mail International if requested however in our opinion the price for this service is usually too expensive to be worth it.

Tracking is only available on Priority Mail shipments or International Package Shipments. Tracking is not available for First Class or First Class International shipping.

Insurance is not available on standard 1st Class Mail or 1st Class International mail.


Getting Help and Support:

If you ever need help or support with our site, simply "Compose Support" and send your inquiry. Your question or concern will be replied to (if necessary) and a response will be returned to your Support section of the website.

The answers to many general questions can also be found in our FAQ section of the website.