The Michigan Department of Corrections paroles or discharges more than 10,000 prisoners a year. Many of those prisoners depend on their families for support as they transition back into society. Families can offer essential help to newly released prisoners from basic needs like shelter, food and clothing, to emotional support and encouragement to stay sober and avoid criminal behaviors. Research strongly suggests that family support can help make or break a successful transition from prison to the community, and it can help prepare prisoners for release and cope with serving prison time. There are several ways that you can encourage and communicate with your family member while they are in prison.


JPay is an electronic messaging system. Prisoners and family members can send messages through a subscription or purchased stamps. Prisoners can view the messages on a kiosk in the housing unit through a JPay MP3 player, or through the new JP5 mini or JP5S tablets in some locations. For the kiosk, prisoners simply plug the MP3 player into the kiosk to send or receive new messages. All messages are reviewed by two separate parties before being sent or received.  More Information on JPay


Prisoner mail must include the address of the facility where the prisoner is located as well as the offender’s name and MDOC number. Any written, typed or printed communication of information is considered mail including magazines, catalogs, books, and photographs. All incoming mail is reviewed and must meet several regulations.  More information on mail


Family members can send packages to prisoners through Securepak.  Prisoners can receive one SecurePak order per quarter valued under $85. More information about Securepak Purchase from SecurePak

Phone Calls

Each prisoner has up to twenty numbers they can call. These numbers make up their Personal Allowed Numbers List or PAN. The PAN automatically resets each quarter. Prisoners can call these numbers collect, pre-paid collect, AdvancePay™, or debit. Collect calling doesn’t work for cell phones, so make sure to check out the complete guide to decide which option is best for your family.  More information about phone calls.


After the first 45 days of intake, prisoners can receive visitors. Prisoners can receive visits from immediate family members and up to ten other visitors. Visitors require approval prior to their visit and should fill out an MODC visiting application and include a stamped, self-addressed envelope for a confirmation letter.  

Learn more about visiting a prisoner.