What to know before shipping a care package to prison?

If you have a friend or a family member in prison, you might want to send them something nice to show that you are thinking of them. Unlike in Europe, shipping a care package to a prison is common practice in countries such as the USA and Australia. Nevertheless, when shipping to an inmate, whether it is a book, a gift, or some cookies, proper preparation is of the utmost importance. In this article, we will go over the most important aspects of shipping with Eurosender, and we’ll give insights in shipping food to an inmate and sending books to jail.

Why use Eurosender for shipping to an inmate

Choose the pick-up and delivery countries, the number of packages and their weight.

You will be provided with the best available offer.

Fill in the form with your details and pay for the service.

Get informed on how to pack your items for shipping

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With Eurosender, you have access to affordable door-to-door shipping services by merely visiting our website. People from all over the world have turned to our shipping services for shipping a package or a parcel to a prison. With our easy to use booking system, you can immediately see the price for your shipment. No more comparing quotes by yourself. Now you have everything in one place, and that is why shipping to an inmate with Eurosender is both easy cheap.

When preparing your shipment, keep the following advice in mind.

  • Easy ordering of your shipment: Is this your first order at Eurosender? Follow our step by step guide, which will lead you through the entire ordering process.
  • Insurance: Shipment with Eurosender are covered by our Standard Insurance. When shipping valuable things, we recommend choosing for additional insurance, which we offer at favorable prices.
  • Payment Options: At Eurosender, you can pay in different ways, all quick and convenient.

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Which address and who do I give up as consignee?

Since every prison has its own protocol, you might be able to send clothes to one prison but not to another. Every prison also differs in the way they process parcels, but you can be sure that every parcel or envelope gets screened for security reasons.

We recommend you call the prison ahead and ask the following questions:

  1. Is it possible to ship a parcel to the prison? If yes, what is the protocol?
  2. What is allowed to be shipped?
  3. To whom do you ship? Is it to the inmate or the reception desk!
  4. Will there be someone to receive the parcel?
  5. Between which hours can there be a parcel delivery take place?

When a place has so much security as a prison, you have to be sure that the address contains all the necessary details for delivery. When this is not the case, the courier might not be able to find the place or can be denied access to the territory. Besides stating the zip code, town, the street and number, information like in which block the inmate lives, his ID number, etc. has to be provided as well.


  1. Country
    Choose the country of pick-up/delivery.
    Ex.: Australia
  2. Name & Surname
    Name of the prison followed by the full name of the consignee
    Ex.: Acacia prison, Alexander Yates
  3. Address
    Fill out the street name in full and the number.
    Ex.: Great Eastern Highway 15
  4. Additional info – Optional
    Here you can add additional information.
    Keep in mind that the courier doesn’t always take this info into consideration.
  5. Zip code
    Add the zip code, please double check if it’s the right one.
    Ex.: WA 6558
  6. Town/city
    Add the full name of the town or city.
    Ex.: Wooroloo
  7. Phone number
    Add the phone number, change the area code if needed.
    Ex.: +44 20 1234 1234



With this information, you can organize shipping a care package to a prison. Eurosender will let you know whether you have to attach a label to your parcel. In the next section, we will tell you how to properly prepare your package whether you are shipping gifts or books to an inmate.

Shipping a care package to prison

Proper packaging of your items ensures a safe journey for your shipment. With our specific packing instructions, you can be sure that any item you ship has the right protection while on the road. Below you find the most common materials for packing your parcel.

Packaging materials

Packing starts with collecting the proper packing materials. You can use either new materials or used, if they are completely intact.

  • Cushioning materials like bubble wrap, crumpled paper, packing peanuts, …
  • Protective materials like Styrofoam sheets, cardboard boxes and sheet, plastic foil, …
  • Items such as tape, scissors, and stickers that say ‘Fragile’ or ‘Handle with care.’

Sending gifts to prison

When sending gifts to prison as a parcel, roughly the same rules apply in most cases. The more fragile an item is, the more important the protection. To ensure your items are well packed, follow these general guidelines:

  1. Wrap items separately in bubble wrap.
  2. Take care of internal cushioning.
  3. Check if everything is safely packed and seal with enough tape.
Sending books to an inmate

When sending books to an inmate, it does not matter if you are shipping softcover books or hardbacks, you should always invest enough time in properly packing and securing the items you want to ship.

  1. Reinforce the box and add cushioning materials.
  2. Wrap the books in bubble wrap.
  3. Place the books neatly in the box.
  4. Add extra cushioning and seal the package.

What is and what is not forbidden from shipping to an inmate?

You can put many different things in a prison care package. However, as a prison has many security protocols, many things can’t be sent to a correctional facility. Always contact the prison you want to send the care package to. The rules vary from prison to prison, and what is allowed in one facility might be barred in the next one. Also. Keep in mind that there are companies that sell items, specially designed for prison care packages. What is unique about these items? They are prepared for prison, meaning that they have been altered to avoid fraud. Examples are pants without pockets, cosmetics without alcohol, sealed food pouches (instead of jars or cans). Of course, these items are a bit pricier, but you know that they are allowed in prison.

Here are some other things you might want to send to your friend, family member, or loved one.

  1. Food and drinks.
    Regular food (such as vegetables, fruit, meat) are out of the question. However, you can send dried and instant foods. Some examples are ramen noodles, candy bars, instant coffee, vacuum packed sausages, and
  2. Personal care.
    Proper shampoo, new slippers, or a toothbrush are just a few ideas when sending gifts to prison. Again, always contact the correctional facility to see whether your items are allowed. It could be for example, that you can send plain boxers, but not boxers with a pattern.
  3. Games and sports equipment.
    If you want them to have a good time, during breaks and in the evening, you can send some board games and cards to kill some time.
  4. A different set of clothes.
    It helps to relax inmates and feel at home if they can change to regular clothing once in a while. Send them a t-shirt of their favorite sports teams or rock band! Keep in mind that whether they are allowed to wear regular clothing, depends on the rules of the prison. These vary from state to state.

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Some items are forbidden from transport, for example, hazardous substances, illegal objects, arms and ammunition, pharmaceutical products and food. By placing an order, the customer agrees that he/she will not be sending such items. Visit our dedicated page for a full list.

Is there anything we forgot to mention on shipping a care package to prison or sending gifts to prison? Do you want to know more about shipping food to an inmate or sending books to jail? Give us a call or write us an email and we will be happy to tell you even more about our services.

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