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Must read Terms of Service & Privacy Policy and be at least 18

Must read Terms of Service & Privacy Policy and be at least 18

Petra Swiss Miss
Petra Swiss Miss


Starting today - July 21st 2022

All non-legal mail has to be sent to Las Vegas.


Incarcerated Individual Name - Offender ID Number
Facility Name - Facility ID Number (See below)
PO Box 96777
Las Vegas, NV  89193                  (89193 is the correct zip code. Some pages like Pigeonly, still have the wrong one listed.)


Anamosa State Penitentiary (ASP) - 1106
Clarinda Correctional Facility (CCF) - 1107
Fort Dodge Correctional Facility (FDCF) - 1114
Iowa Correctional Institution for Women (ICIW) - 1109
Iowa Medical and Classification Center (IMCC) - 1108
Iowa State Penitentiary (ISP) - 1110 
Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility (MPCF) - 1113
Newton Correctional Facility (NCF) - 1111
North Central Correctional Facility (NCCF) - 1112


Please Note:  Any non-legal mail sent directly to an IDOC facility following the July 21st effective date will be forwarded for processing. This service will be offered for a period of 30 days.  

This mail processing facility will be operated by Pigeonly Corrections. They will open all non-legal mail and scan it into a digital color copy. The digital copy will be printed and delivered to the appropriate Iowa DOC facility. Originals will not be returned to the sender, but will be temporarily stored then securely destroyed, per Iowa DOC’s policies.

Each IDOC facility has been assigned an individual mailing code.  When writing an incarcerated individual, be sure to reference the mailing code listed below to ensure your non-legal mail is received by the correct facility. 


If you're writing for the first time, please take into consideration it could take even longer for a response. (Till this system is working properly)

Happy writing.

Petra Swiss Miss
Petra Swiss Miss

Hi Galapagos Diver 2

Yes, to the Vegas address but don't shorten the Facility's name.

Yes to the photo copies, including physical photos (as far as I know, right now). Sorry, let me explain: My last two letters, including 4x6 photos did not reach my pp as of now. The older one I sent in June and it should have made it before the new mail process. The newer one was a trial run and should have arrived (at the Iowa facility) around the switch. Then my pp got transfered in the middle of it. Frankly, I don't know what happened with the letters or the photos. I'll wait a bit longer before resending them. I'm making copies of everything. lol

I always write his name and # on every page. ;o) I would go with the Vegas address.

As for overthinking: welcome to the club ;o)

Do you know Ameelio, the company that does the Video Visits? They have another App besides the Connect App. It's a faint red with something like an origami bird on it. It's quite handy. You can send postcards and letters (2000 words) DIRECTLY to the Iowa facility. You get one for free each month. You can also buy tokens. For $4.99 you get 50 tokens (a postcard costs 5 token). Plus, it is a non profit company and with your purchase, you help others to stay in touch with their LO. What I'm also using is Shutterfly. We don't have it in Switzerland but I can, fortunately, use the address of my pp's family for stuff like that. So technically I have an US account. (I did the same with the allowed book vendors) Anyway, with the app you get free 4x6 prints and the shipping is only $2.80 for 10 pieces. Because it's free, the shipping is a bit slow but it's a commercial dealer. Ergo, you can ship it directly to Iowa too. And as of now (with the new policy) he did get them despite being transfered (the photos went to the old facility first).

I'll send another letter (to Vegas) next with just one or two photos in it, to see what happens. Though, I don't think he will get them (phsyically).

I'm not cheap. But I don't want to throw my money at Pigeonly and pay $13 or 19 a month for "free" letters or photos. A priority stamp for a 10 page letter with photos costs me CHF 4.10 and there are the other options I mentioned. I rather save the money and send my pp a book (which we read together) For everyday talk, a quick hello or time sensitive matters we email and that works great so far.

I hope, that helps for now. And if you're faster with writing and getting a response, feel free to let us others know ;o) I sure would be greatful!

Best wished and happy writing




Hi Petra and everyone,

My Iowa penpal mentioned a change to mail guidelines, but it wasn't until now and reading your post, that I fully understood what that meant.

So, just to clarify, instead of sending mail direct to the facility (as always done previously) we send to this Las Vegas address instead?

For example, if I write to someone at ICIW, I would now address it like this:

Queen Elizabeth #123456
ICIW - 1109
PO Box 96777
Las Vegas, NV  89193     

Does that look correct?

I have always written my return address and penpal's address on the first page of my actual letter too - in case it got separated from an envelope etc.  If I continue doing that, should I write this new one on that? Or the old facility one etc?

So, my penpal will now receive a color photocopy of my letter? And this includes a color photocopy of any physical photos included with it?

I'm probably overthinking it, but just want to make sure I'm doing it right given the time, effort and 10,000 mile distance this mail will be traveling! Any advice is much appreciated.  Thank you :)


Petra Swiss Miss
Petra Swiss Miss

Hallo Vanessa

Ja, seit letzten November ist es wieder möglich. Hier  ist der Link zur Policy Incoming Publications:

(Diese wird im Durchschnitt etwa 2 mal im Jahr angepasst)
und die Policy für Incarcerated Individual Correspondence:


Du kannst aber nur bei 2 Händlern bestellen!
A third party may also purchase books so long as the items are sent directly from the following approved vendors (Books N Things and Edward R. Hamilton Books), and the third party sender is an individual with whom the incarcerated individual is allowed to correspond per IDOC policy OP-MTV-01, Incarcerated Individual Correspondence.

Die Auswahl an Büchern ist zu Weilen etwas altbacken. Und stöbern ist auch nicht so spannend wie z.Bsp. bei Amazon. Bitte vergiss nicht, nur Softcover ist erlaubt!
(Dein pp spricht wahrscheinlich von Bargain Books. Sie legen im Gefängnis jeweils neue Flyer und Kataloge aus.)


Einige Informationen dazu: Du benötigst bei beiden eine US Anschrift um Dich anzumelden. (Ich darf die der Familie meines pp benutzen)
Bei der Bezahlung wird es ziemlich spezifisch, Stichwort US billing address.

Book' N Things - Pickt meine CH-Anschrift aus meinem PayPal Account. Ergo, funktioniert nicht. Meine schweizer Kreditkarte (Master Card) hat mit der geliehenen US Adresse geklappt. Und Du kannst eine kleine Notitz zur Bestellung mitsenden.

Hamilton - Dort ist es umgekehrt. Mit Kreditkarte klappt es gar nicht. PayPal jedoch problemlos.


Die Lieferanschrift ist Anamosa.
Und erkundige Dich allenfalls bei Deinem pp, ob er einen "open spot" für Bücher hat (wenn Du eine Überraschung planst). Wenn jemand das Maximum an 10 Büchern erreicht hat, muss er eins abgeben bevor er ein neues erhalten kann.

Ich hoffe, das hilft Dir weiter. Noch viel Spass beim Schreiben.

Liebe Grüsse vom Zürichsee



Hallo Petra :)

Ich finde nichts aktuell auf der DOC Seite. Mein PP sitzt in Anamosa. Vielleicht kannst du mir helfen. Kann man denn wieder Bücher schicken? Ganz liebe Grüße :)

Petra Swiss Miss
Petra Swiss Miss

Hey ST4s, I need cheat sheets to convert all the different units. lol

I like the metric system, so so much :o) Everything is neat and tidy, it seems more logical too. lol (Maybe that's the Swiss in me)
Everything is a multiple or a fraction of ten: Length, Area, Volume, Wight and of course Temperatures ;o) 0° C is the freezing point and 100°C the boiling point.
The DIN paper format may not be "straight" in milimeters but it's just as neat. Cut a A0 in half on the longer side and you get two A1, cut that the same way and you get two A2 and so on from A3 to A4 and futher down :o) Easy peasy. lol

Need a laugh? I think Fox's Tucker Carlson is hilarious:
"Almost every nation on earth has fallen under the yoke of tyranny -- the metric system. From Beijing to Buenos Aires, from Lusaka to London, the people of the world have been forced to measure their environment in millimeters." (told with a straight face and a dissaproving shake of the head) lmao

I like your mailman :o) I have a mailwoman who examined one of these ugly over stamped prison envelopes, like she excepted it to bite her. She turned into a tomato, when she saw me looking at her ;o) I was like "gimme, gimme..." And she asked a bit bewildered, it's not bad...? So I explained my pp gig and ever since, when she has my tour, she knocks and handdelivers the letter with a huge smile :o)


Hey Petra! Maximum envelope sizes?!? Well, that’s interesting. Here on this side of the pond, a standard 4” x 9-1/2” envelope is called a No.10 (don’t ask) or business-sized, and neatly fits standard 8-1/2 x 11” paper, called letter-sized, folded into thirds. I never stopped to think about Pigeonly vs. standard envelope/paper sizes from, gee, anywhere else on the planet, where they use the metric system, but I guess it’s suddenly a thing.

I love the proportions of A4 paper/C5 envelopes (they’re so… international), but they have no equivalent stateside. Good luck with those third-party folks out in Las Vegas, which is an odd place to send jail mail*, but, whatever.


*I’ve got a super-cool postman here, who puts any incoming letters from my buds on the top of the day’s stack (because he knows), with a little announcement, “Hey, you got some jail mail!” Cracks me up every time, but it’s also kind of awesome :-)


Petra Swiss Miss
Petra Swiss Miss

And a big thank you in return, Mr. Ducati :o)

I don't plan on using them, as long as I can find other ways. lol
I despise companies that are intrasparent regarding rates and such. (The founder is a former prisoner. I would expect more.)


Ameelio had (up unto last week) two free credits a week to send letters or postcards. New is 1 free credit per month. But you can buy token (50-Token Pack for $4.99)
I only ever sent the post cards. With 50 Token I can buy 10 post cards, 4 x 6. Not bad and as Ameelio is a non profit, my purchase helps two families to stay in contact with their LO.
And they are very friendly, helpful and fast to respond to questions :o)


With the photos I'll try what works. Photos from Shutterfly went through before. (4 x 6, are free prints with the App, shipping is $2.80, 10 pics) Unfortunately (in regard to correnspondece, not my friend) my pp got transfered to another facility last weekend. Meaning all the things still in production or in the mail system will not give me a solid conclusions. New trial run for me and more stuff for my pp. lol

It says, still processed at Iowa DOC facilities are: Printed material sent directly from publisher or commercial dealer.
Although, photos and post cards are not mentioned. I'll give it a try.


What is bugging me regarding letters: Envelopes must be no larger than 4 in. x 9½ in. WTF? 10 pages folded twice!? I do mock ups, travel cards/maps, personalized cross words and other mischief I can come up with.
And they forward it in a bigger envelope, if the pic on their page is anything to go by...
Maybe I'm overreacting. I'll do the required sized envelope and my usual C5 (roughly the size of a folded US-letter) and see what gives. lol


Happy writing and happy riding ;o)



Thanks Petra!

FWIW, while not for Iowa, I’ve used Pigeonly in the past for their local-to-the-prison phone service and so many photo prints per month subscription. It was a train wreck. Or Kafkaesque. Pick your favorite.

For starters, they kept sending all the photos to me, not my bud. Then, my bud was transferred, the phone thing served no further purpose, and trying to cancel their monthly charges? Impossible. Repeated calls to their customer service? Pointless. Nothing changed. They kept on billing. Repeated calls to my bank to cut them off? Their charges magically reappeared a few days later... in duplicate (you can't make this stuff up!) The only solution? Cancelling that card altogether, which I used for other things, so, untangling all that was even more fun.

Hope springs eternal that they’ve cleaned up their act since then, but heads up that you may want to consider a throwaway payment method if they haven’t (if you choose to use their paid service, that is).