How to Contact Your Family Member in Jail

When a loved one serves time in jail they are allowed communication with family and friends on the outside. Even though they are incarcerated, there are some privileges that inmates today have access to, such as the ability to check e-mail messages.

There are certain rules and things to remember when sending an e-mail to your family member; the most important to keep in mind is that you cannot expect the message will be private by any means. For security, safety and breach of security purposes, all incoming messages will be monitored by certain jail staff and employees. E-mail is a great option to stay in touch in real-time with your family and goes much more convenient than snail mail by the post office that could take several days.

How to Send an Email:

First, search for the inmate on the Who’s in Jail site using the inmate’s last name. From the list of inmate(s), click on the inmate’s last name to bring up a detail screen for that inmate. The last name may not look like a link, but it is.

In the middle of the next page is an envelope icon to “Email this inmate.” Click that icon, and you will be directed to an e-mail verification screen. Enter your email address in the verification field and click on “Validate.”

After clicking “Validate,” a new email message should appear in your Inbox from the address: netwebmaster@sdsheriff.org. Open the email, click the link included in the message, and you are ready start your e-mailing your family member. (Remember that you will be entering text into a web form, not your email program.)

When the message is complete, click “Send.” You will then get another email message indicating your message was received.

Rules to Abide By:

  • Do not send more than 2 messages a day
  • Emails are one-page only and cannot contain attachments or pictures
  • Emails will be printed and delivered to your family member (they can then respond by regular U.S. mail.

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