So, you want to know how to send books to inmates from amazon? If so, there is a good chance that you would like to purchase a book through Amazon as a gift to send to a loved one in prison. Fret not, although this may be slightly more difficult, it is not impossible.
Sometimes, books are the only escape for people who have nothing but time. Amazon understands this. Here is a simple guide on how to get an adventure into the hands of those who most likely, need it the most. Please keep in mind that 99% of all correctional facilities do not accept used or hardcover books.
Know your destination locations and regulations-
What is meant by this is, before you even start searching for that perfect title, research the facilities inmate policies. The prison Uncle Bob is in will have its own unique rules and regulations. Call or check on the website.
For example: According to the CDCR (California’s Department of Corrections) which include San Quentin Prison and Folsom State Prison:
- Inmates are allowed to have possession of up to 10 books at a time
- The book(s) MUST be sent directly from the distributor, who MUST be on the approved distributor list.
- The packages cannot be more than 30 lbs each.
Again, the above rules apply to the California Department of Corrections. The institution you would like to mail books to may be in a different state and have different guidelines. Therefore, if you want to know how to send books to inmates from amazon, it is a good idea to check with the specific prison you would like to ship to and ask about their regulations.
Please understand that you cannot send a book package anonymously.
When shipping through Amazon, an order invoice is included in all packages. While the label on the outside will only have the destination address, Amazon.com’s name, and return address, the invoice also includes the buyer's information. Special labels or instructions are not able to be attached to a package. P.O Boxes are an option for those not wanting to reveal their home address.
Address and send the package correctly-
Amazon uses multiple shipping companies, FedEx, UPS, and USPS. Since inmates obviously can't sign for their packages, USPS must be used to ship to any prison. To prevent any shipping issues, Amazon does recommend receiving the package and then shipping it yourself. However, the majority of prisons require books to be sent from a distributor, so your package would end up being rejected. If at all possible, ship to the prisons P.O. Box, if they have one (call the prison mail room or look online for the institution's mailing address). Most orders that have P.O. Box in the mailing address are shipped through the United States Postal Service.
Select ‘Send a gift’ option.
Add inmate name and ID number in the shipping name line
EX: John Smith 54321
Happy State Prison
123 Sunshine Lane
Keep in mind, most facilities only allow inmates a certain number of books at a time (We recommend shipping no more than 3 at one time).
Inmates must turn in old books to receive new ones.
If for any reason the package is rejected, it will be shipped back at sender's’ expense.
For sellers who want to know how to send books to inmates from Amazon:
The ‘from’ address MUST say Amazon, not your company name.
No residential addresses are allowed (P.O. Boxes are OK).
Include a packing slip but cut off the top/bottom, leaving only items purchased.
Now that you know how to send books to inmates from Amazon, you may want to learn more about a book that is one of the most recommended books for inmates who want to find healing and understanding on their journey, in a way that brings them an experience of inner freedom and new life while they are in prison. This happens for numerous readers of Doing Time With God by Bill Dyer because it contains a message that touches readers in ways that have a positive and lasting impact.
This is why we recommend Doing Time With God as one of the best books for inmates to read.
Sources for Information about shipping to Amazon. Click the following links if you would like to read the original articles: