Send mail or order commissary items for a person in jail

You can send letters and printed material to a person in jail with some restrictions. You may also order commissary items from the Sheriff’s Office’s approved online vendor and send them to a person in jail.

In this page:
How to send mail
Thumbs up. Acceptable items/clothing to bring on your jail visit.

You must use the U.S. Postal Service to send mail to a person in jail 

Forbidden. Do not bring to your jail visit.

Your mail cannot be larger than 8-½ inches by 14 inches

Thumbs up. Acceptable items/clothing to bring on your jail visit.

Only a publisher or book distributor can send books, newspapers, and magazines to a person in jail

Forbidden. Do not bring to your jail visit.

The publisher or book distributor must use the U.S. Postal Service. They cannot send more than three items in one mailing

Thumbs up. Acceptable items/clothing to bring on your jail visit.

You may send cashier’s checks, certified checks and money orders from U.S. banks drawn on U.S. currency. The total amount cannot be more than $100

Forbidden. Do not bring to your jail visit.

You may not send cash or a personal check

We check mail

The Sheriff’s Office will open and search mail to make sure it follows the law and all jail rules. We will only open legal mail in front of the incarcerated person.

Legal mail includes written communication from:

  • City, county, state, and federal officials;
  • Attorneys; legal representatives; courts; or
  • Prisoner Legal Services.

The Sheriff’s Office keeps any mail that breaks the law or jail rules. We will send it to our Criminal Investigations Unit for review. 

Delivering mail

The Sheriff’s Office will only deliver mail to the person who is named in the address and is currently incarcerated. We forward unopened mail to the person if they have moved to another jail or prison location. If we have released the person from our jail, we return the mail to the sender. If there is no return address, we return the mail to the U.S. Postal Service.

Please use the following information to address your envelopes:

County Jail #2

Last Name, First Name, SF number (Look up the person in jail to find their SF Number) 
San Francisco County Jail #2
425 Seventh Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

County Jail #4

Last Name, First Name, SF number
San Francisco County Jail #4
850 Bryant Street, 7th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

County Jail #5

Last Name, First Name, SF number
San Francisco County Jail #5
1 Moreland Drive
San Bruno, CA 94066

What not to send

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office may return any mail that does not follow our guidelines for sending mail to a person in jail. We may also hold unapproved mail for the incarcerated person and give it to them when they leave jail. This includes but is not limited to the following:

Forbidden. Do not bring to your jail visit.

Items, which cannot be searched without destroying the item

Forbidden. Do not bring to your jail visit.

Items made of metal, wood, plastic, cloth, or cardboard

Forbidden. Do not bring to your jail visit.

Postage stamps

Forbidden. Do not bring to your jail visit.

Stationery items (you may purchase stationery from the commissary)

Forbidden. Do not bring to your jail visit.

Items larger than 8-½ inches by 14 inches

Forbidden. Do not bring to your jail visit.

Cash and personal checks

Forbidden. Do not bring to your jail visit.

Polaroid photos

Forbidden. Do not bring to your jail visit.

Mail containing more than 20 photos

Forbidden. Do not bring to your jail visit.

Photo(s), drawing(s), etc. showing sexual activity

Forbidden. Do not bring to your jail visit.

More than three books, magazines, or newspapers in one mailing

Forbidden. Do not bring to your jail visit.

Books, magazines, or newspapers that were not sent through the U.S. Postal Service from the publisher, bookstore, or book club

Forbidden. Do not bring to your jail visit.

Clothing, hair, posters, jewelry, glitter, lottery tickets, stickers, food, magnets, and identification cards.

The Sheriff’s Office will keep and investigate mail which contains the following but is not limited to:

Forbidden. Do not bring to your jail visit.

Photos showing gang activity or any unlawful activity

Forbidden. Do not bring to your jail visit.

Material that tends to incite murder, arson, riot, violent racism, or other forms of violence

Forbidden. Do not bring to your jail visit.

Any “how to” magazines on weapons or items that could be used in an escape attempt

A person in jail cannot keep more than a total of 10 books, magazines, or newspapers at one time

Ordering commissary items

You may order commissary or jail store items through the Sheriff’s Office approved online vendor. The vendor will deliver your items. This is the only approved way to send store items to a person in jail. 

Please click here to order commissary items online. You must create an account, know the incarcerated person’s name or eight-digit wristband number, and use a credit card to pay for the items. The incarcerated person can spend and receive up to $100 in commissary items each week. 

Get Help

Order a care package online for a person in jail
accesscatalog.org