Columbia County Jail Inmate Mail

Columbia County Jail Inmate Mail Service & Policy

Columbia County Jail uses a secure messaging service call Smart Communications so that inmates can communicate electronically with friends and family members on the outside.

SmartMail allows inmates to communicate safely and quickly with family and friends outside of the jail, prison or detention center. Inmates send and receive electronic letters using a safe and secure computer kiosk or tablet stationed in their institution. THE COST IS JUST $0.50 CENTS; cheaper than a postage stamp and envelope.

  • The message can be sent with postage paid and will be free to open and read for the recipient.
  • Or, the message can be sent collect / "COD" for free and will be paid for by the recipient.
  • To send or receive a message you MUST open a SmartJailMail.com account.
  • Once you open an account, you may search for inmates, prisoners, or detainees to connect with.
  • When you locate the inmate that you want to connect with, you can send them a connection request.
  • They will then need to approve the request before you can send messages.
  • Sending messages with SmartMail is just like sending an e-mail, except it is contained within the SmartJailMail web site. Messages can be delivered instantly or may be held for review depending on the destination facility.
  • Electronic messages are delivered much more quickly than traditional paper mail to the correctional facility so you can stay connected.

More information on how to send and receive messages and photos with an inmate.

TextBehind Digital & Letter Writing Service


TextBehind enables you to communicate with your incarcerated loved ones located inside the United States from anywhere in the world using text letters, kids' drawings, and custom greeting cards. Unlimited inmate reply letters are processed for electronic delivery to your smartphone and email at no extra charge.
The cost to send an electronic letter is approximately $1.00.

Here’s how it works:
1.    All offender mail (paper and electronic) is addressed and delivered to TextBehind. Electronic mail is sent through the apps (iphone, Google Play). Paper mail is sent to the address below:
Inmate Name and Inmate Number
Columbia County Jail Florida
(note: please do not abbreviate the name)
P.O. Box 247
Phoenix, MD 21131

2.    If it was sent via TextBehind's app (iphone, Google Play), TextBehind can process it within one business day.
3.    An additional step is involved in processing mail that is sent using the U.S. Postal Service. TextBehind will  use a scanner to make digital files of the contents of the mailing—including cards, photos or artwork.
4.    All digital files are then forwarded to the offender’s assigned prison.
5.    The jail or prison's mailroom staff print approved pages and then delivers them to the inmate.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • TextBehind does not deliver any mail to the inmate directly, nor do they guarantee delivery of your letters to the inmates by the courier, jail or prison staff. Once they process your mail and ship them out on your behalf, they are out of the loop entirely. However, at times they may offer to resend your letters under certain strict conditions as a courtesy. 
  • Inmates do not receive any invites when you add them, and neither do they need to accept the use of TextBehind service. Once you add the inmate, you can create letters for them. 
  • There is NO guarantee that Columbia County Jail will cooperate and process TextBehind 'mail', and then deliver it to your inmate. Only when jails enroll directly with TextBehind, is your inmate most likely to get your TextBhind communications.

Here’s what happens when TextBehind receives a letter from an inmate:

  • Upon receiving, TextBehind staff open their letters, scan, and upload high-quality images to your TextBehind account as a complimentary service. You are not required to have any money or credits balance in your TextBehind account to receive inmate letters.
  • Next, you will receive a text and email alert to notify you of any new incoming reply letters. At that time, you can log into the TextBehind website or mobile app and view letters in your CONTACTS >> Click on Conversation Icon. 

YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS...

  • Inmates do require a stamp to send out their letters to TextBehind using Postal Service.
  • The cash or credit balance from your TextBehind account will not be shared with inmates as a substitute for the stamps. 
  • All letters printed and shipped by TextBehind nationwide to virtually any jail or prison facility are delivered to the jails/prisons by couriers such as the USPS or FedEx as their standard process.
  • After the shipments, TextBehind has no control over the process.
  • The delivery of your letters depends on couriers and prison staff taking the necessary action, and on time.

IMPORTANT TextBehind LINKS:
Register / Log in with TextBehind
Contact TextBehind with Questions
Add an Inmate to your list of Contacts
TextBehind Volume Discount packages
** Address to Mail letters using TextBehind **
Inmate Name and Inmate Number
Columbia County Jail Florida (note: please do not abbreviate the name)
P.O. Box 247
Phoenix, MD 21131

RATES (subject to change):


TextBehind is a digital texting and letter writing service used by jail and prison inmates and inmate’s friends and families all across America. Due to the problem of letters and postcards containing, or soaked in contraband (drugs), TextBehind electronic and physical letters replaced the former policy of allowing mail to be sent directly from inmate’s friends and family members, and vice versa.

Type of Mail Allowed for Columbia County Jail

Postcards
The Columbia County Jail allows inmates to receive pre-metered postcards like the type purchased from the post office. They may also allow certain photo postcards as long as they have not been tampered with or contain images that may be considered to be obscene or violent in nature.
Envelopes
The Columbia County Jail may also allow regular postcards and envelopes to be mailed to inmates as well, however more and more jails are no longer allowing envelopes or paper letters due to concern about paper being dipped into liquefied drugs like methamphetamines and cocaine and then mailed into secure facilities.
To confirm that the Columbia County Jail still allows letters in envelopes call 386-755-7000 or view the Inmate Mail Instructions by going here.
Newspapers
Local or national newspapers may also be mailed to the inmate as long as they are mailed directly from the newspaper publisher.
Magazines
News, special interest or sports magazines may also be mailed to an inmate as long as they are shipped directly from the publisher. Any magazines that contain profanity, weapons, pornography or other content that is adult in nature will be confiscated by the jail staff and will NOT be delivered to the inmate.
Books
Most jails allow books to be mailed directly to the jail from a reputable source such as AmazonBarnes & Noble or Books-A-Million. You can order them directly from your computer and have them shipped to the inmate at the address above.
Books must NOT contain images or content that are considered excessively violent, pornographic or obscene. Any book that does not meet the Columbia County Jail standards will be disposed of.
Hard cover books will not be accepted by the jail due to their potential to be used as a weapon.
To confirm that the Columbia County Jail continues to allow books to be mailed by a third party publisher or bookseller, call 386-755-7000.
Care packages
Care packages are pre-chosen items packaged together and sent to the inmate from a third-party vendor. They can include clothing, snacks and seasonal items.
When a jail allows the inmate to receive Care Packages they must come directly from an approved company that specializes in serving the inmates of jails.
Call 386-755-7000 or click here or here to see if the Columbia County Jail participates in a Care Package program and if so, how to purchase one.

Emailing an Inmate in Columbia County Jail

Columbia County Jail uses a secure messaging service call Smart Communications so that inmates can communicate electronically with friends and family members on the outside.

SmartMail allows inmates to communicate safely and quickly with family and friends outside of the jail, prison or detention center. Inmates send and receive electronic letters using a safe and secure computer kiosk or tablet stationed in their institution. THE COST IS JUST $0.50 CENTS; cheaper than a postage stamp and envelope.

  • The message can be sent with postage paid and will be free to open and read for the recipient.
  • Or, the message can be sent collect / "COD" for free and will be paid for by the recipient.
  • To send or receive a message you MUST open a SmartJailMail.com account.
  • Once you open an account, you may search for inmates, prisoners, or detainees to connect with.
  • When you locate the inmate that you want to connect with, you can send them a connection request.
  • They will then need to approve the request before you can send messages.
  • Sending messages with SmartMail is just like sending an e-mail, except it is contained within the SmartJailMail web site. Messages can be delivered instantly or may be held for review depending on the destination facility.
  • Electronic messages are delivered much more quickly than traditional paper mail to the correctional facility so you can stay connected.

More information on how to send and receive messages and photos with an inmate.

How to address your Inmate's Postcard or Envelope

Inmates First and Last Name (Include Inmate Number if Known) - Only Postcards are allowed!!
Columbia County Detention Facility
389 NW Quinten Street
Lake City, FL 32055

All mail sent to an inmate at the Columbia County Jail must include the senders name and mailing address in the top left corner of the envelope or postcard.
Failure to include your return address will most likely result in your mail NOT being delivered and discarded.
To confirm the mailing address and/or any new policies regarding inmate mail call 386-755-7000 or check the most recent updates on the jail's website by going here.

Mailed Items NOT Allowed

If your inmate is mailed anything other than a letter or postcard (or sometimes) greeting cards it won't get through.
However as stated above, because of the increased smuggling of drugs, more and more jails are only allowing pre-stamped or metered, solid color or white postcards to be received by inmates, or even using a third-party service that scans the letters and delivers paper or digital copies.
Examples of prohibited items include:

  • Stamps and stickers.
  • Musical greeting cards.
  • Altered mail such as perfumed or lipstick covered.
  • Paper with any type of stains such as grease.
  • News clippings.
  • Crayon, felt tip or hand painted drawings.

Call 386-755-7000 or click here for a complete list of prohibited items.

POLICIES REGARDING MAILING PHOTOS TO Columbia County Jail

Photos should not exceed 4 inches high x 6 inches wide.
Send no more than five photos at one time.
Polaroid Photos are prohibited.
Photos of weapons are prohibited.
Photos of drugs, the consuming of drugs or alcohol is prohibited.
Photos of lewd behavior or people exhibiting too much skin is prohibited.
Call 386-755-7000 or check the most recent policies regarding inmate photos on the jail's website by going here.

Important Mail Tips

Mail is always scanned and inspected for contraband, obscenity and other rule infractions.
Assume that everything you write will be read by jail staff and can and will be used against you or your inmate in court.  
Never write anything about the inmate's court case you wouldn't want read aloud in court.
Mail is considered by the jail to be a privilege. Any violations of the mail policies can result in the inmate's mail privileges being suspended.
The introduction of contraband by you into the jail through the mail could result in criminal charges being filed against both you and the inmate.
Click here to view contact information for the Columbia County Jail.

How to Send and Receive Secure Text and Email Messages with an Inmate in Columbia County Jail

To communicate by text or email with an Columbia County inmate, follow these instructions:

  • To send or receive a message you MUST first open a SmartJailMail.com account.
  • Once you open an account, you may search for Columbia County inmates or detainees to connect with.
  • When you locate the Columbia County inmate that you want to connect with, you can send them a connection request.
  • Columbia County Jail will then need to approve the request before you can send messages.

For all the information you need to send and receive secure messages in the form of text or email with a Columbia County Jail inmate, including how it works, how much it costs, renting your inmate a tablet, how often you can communicate and more, check out our Text/Email an Inmate Page.
NOTE: Your messages will be monitored and stored. You may want to refrain from discussing your inmate's court case.


 

How to Purchase Commissary for an Inmate in Columbia County

To purchase commissary online for an Columbia County Jail inmate, follow these instructions:

  • Start here and click ‘PLACE ORDER in CommissaryDeposit.com
  • Choose Florida
  • Choose Columbia County Jail
  • View the date your order will be delivered, then click ‘NEXT’.
  • Search for, then Select your inmate from the Columbia County Jail list.
  • Choose the amount to send.
  • Register, and Pay for the deposit transaction

Note: You will be charged a fee to purchase commissary for your Columbia County inmate. In addition, there is a maximum amount you can spend, usually about $250.00. 
Items you may Purchase from CommissaryDeposit.com:

  • Clothing - thermals, underwear, bras, shoes.
  • Stationary, envelopes, stamps, playing cards, board games
  • Toiletries, hygiene, reading glasses, medicated creams, aspirin
  • Soda, energy drinks, coffee, packaged meat & fish, soups, cookies, chips, pastries.

Contact Information
Customer Support page.
Customer Support phone:   912-584-6102
Email - [email protected]
Customer Support Hours - Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM EST

For complete information on fees, products, policies, deadlines, rules, minimum and maximum purchases and all the information you need to know regarding purchasing commissary for your inmate in Columbia County, go to our Inmate Commissary Page for details.


 

How an Inmate Makes a Phone Call to You or Others from Columbia County Jail

To set up a phone account so that your inmate can call you from Columbia County do the following:

1. Enroll in an account with Securus Technologies.

2. Choose one of three account types, Securus Debit, Advance Connect or Direct Bill.
3. Choose [facility_name_1}, then connect with your inmate.
4. If you have any questions, call Securus: 972-734-1111 or 800-844-6591.

To find out fees, how to's, calling times, limits on phone calls and other systems Securus has do that you can communicate with your Columbia County inmate, check out our Inmate Phone Page.
NOTE: All of your inmate's phone calls are recorded and stored. It is advised not to discuss their pending case.


 

How to Schedule and Visit an Inmate in Columbia County Jail

To schedule and set up a visit, either at-the-jail or remotely from your home, follow these instructions:

  • Register and/or log in.
  • Select Columbia County Jail, then your inmate.
  • Review the days, available hours and the cost of remote and on-site visits in Columbia County.
  • Schedule your visit.

To get more complete instructions, and understand visit lengths, times, locations, fees and all the other rules including children, dress codes and more, check out or Visit Inmate Page.
NOTE: All visits are recorded and whatever you say and do will be monitored. It is best to never discuss sensitive information regarding your inmate's pending case.


 

How to Purchase Commissary or Deposit Money Online for an Inmate in Columbia County

To purchase commissary online or deposit money in an Columbia County Jail inmate's commissary account follow these instructions:

  • Start here and click ‘PLACE ORDER in CommissaryDeposit.com
  • Choose Florida
  • Choose Columbia County Jail
  • View the date your order will be delivered, then click ‘NEXT’.
  • Search for, then Select your inmate from the Columbia County Jail list.
  • Choose the amount to send.
  • Register, and Pay for the deposit transaction

Note: You will be charged a fee to send money or purchase commissary for your Columbia County inmate. In addition, there is a maximum amount you can send and/or spend. 
Items you may Purchase from CommissaryDeposit.com:

  • Clothing - thermals, underwear, bras, shoes.
  • Stationary, envelopes, stamps, playing cards, board games
  • Toiletries, hygiene, reading glasses, medicated creams, aspirin
  • Soda, energy drinks, coffee, packaged meat & fish, soups, cookies, chips, pastries.

Contact Information
Customer Support page.
Customer Support phone:   912-584-6102
Email - [email protected]
Customer Support Hours - Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM EST

For complete information on fees, products, policies, deadlines, rules, minimum and maximum deposits and all the information you need to know regarding depositing money for your inmate or purchasing Commissary online in Columbia County, go to our Inmate Commissary Page or our Send Money to an Inmate Page for details.


 

How to Deposit Money Online for an Inmate's Commissary Account in Columbia County

To deposit money in an Columbia County Jail inmate's commissary account follow these instructions:

  • Start here and click ‘DEPOSIT MONEY’ in CommissaryDeposit.com
  • Choose Florida
  • Choose Columbia County Jail
  • View the date your order will be delivered, then click ‘NEXT’.
  • Search for, then Select your inmate.
  • Choose the amount to send.
  • Register, and Pay for the deposit transaction

Note: You will be charged a fee to send money to your Columbia County inmate. In addition, there is a maximum amount you can send. 

Contact Information
Customer Support page.
Customer Support phone:   912-584-6102
Email - [email protected]
Customer Support Hours - Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM EST

For complete information on fees, products, policies, deadlines, rules, minimum and maximum deposits and all the information you need to know regarding depositing money for your inmate in Columbia County, go to our Send Money Page for details.