Platte County Jail & Detention Center Inmate Mail

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Platte County Jail & Detention Center Inmate Mail

When mailing a letter or postcard to an inmate, please address your mail as follows:

Inmate's First and Last Name
Platte County Jail & Detention Center
1125 E. 17th Street
Columbus, NE 68601

All mail sent to an inmate at the Platte County Jail & Detention Center must include the sender's 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 your letter destroyed.

The information below provides complete instructions regarding:

  • Platte County Jail & Detention Center Inmate Mail Policies,
  • Mail Instructions,
  • What type of mail is NOT allowed,
  • Rules for Mailing Letters and Photos and Postcards
  • Emailing an inmate,
  • Policies for Sending Magazines, Newspapers, Books and Packages to Platte County Jail & Detention Center in Columbus, Nebraska.

Follow these instructions exactly to help ensure that your inmate receives his/her mail and not have it thrown away.
The Platte County Jail & Detention Center has a zero-tolerance policy regarding mail violations.

Type of Mail Allowed for Platte County Jail & Detention Center

Postcards
The Platte County Jail & Detention Center 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 Platte County Jail & Detention Center 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 Platte County Jail & Detention Center still allows letters in envelopes call 402-563-4274 or view the Inmate Mail Instructions.
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 Platte County Jail & Detention Center 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 Platte County Jail & Detention Center continues to allow books to be mailed by a third party publisher or bookseller, call 402-563-4274.
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 402-563-4274 to see if the Platte County Jail & Detention Center participates in a Care Package program and if so, how to purchase one.

What is Inmate mail?

By law, every inmate is entitled to receive mail delivered through the United State Postal Service. While for years, this mail was always delivered in the form of a letter or a postcard from friends and loved ones directly to the inmate, the definition of inmate mail has changed a bit.

Inmate mail can be:

•    A letter in an envelope,
•    A postcard,
•    A greeting card, or
•    A digital letter

Because of security and contraband concerns, mainly the paper and envelope that a letter is written on or enclosed in, being soaked in a liquid form of drugs, many jails are increasingly limiting the type of mail inmates can get.

Some still allow regular mail in an envelope with a stamp, but many now have the letter sent to a third-party that opens the letter, scans it and the envelope into a computer, emails the letter to the jail where they print it out, giving the photocopies to the inmate, or they send it to a computer kiosk or tablet digitally that the inmate can access.

Others only allow postcards, specifically the white, pre-stamped postcards that you can purchase from the post office. 

When greeting cards are allowed, they can’t be cards with glitter, music or other do-dads. They can only be plain paper cards.

Some jails, in fact most, require that mail be written or typed with only black or blue ink. Some allow black pencils to be used.

None allow crayons, markers, lipstick prints, etc. 

All require white envelopes, white paper or lined paper such as from a pad. Very few allow paper that is card stock. It must be plain white, 20-lb. printer paper.

To see the inmate mail policies for Platte County Jail & Detention Center check out the inmate mail details above or call the jail at 402-563-4274 for specific information.

What is my inmate’s mailing address?

There are five different types of addresses for every jail:

1.    The physical address of the jail
2.    The mailing address for an inmate’s personal mail
3.    The mailing address for the inmate’s legal mail
4.    The mailing address for the jail’s administrative staff
5.    The mailing address for sending money to the inmate’s trust or commissary fund
       Visit the Inmate Money page for this information

In general, the only three addresses that friends and family of inmates need to be concerned about are:

•    The inmate address for personal mail.
•    The address for sending money orders to the inmate’s commissary account.
      Visit the Inmate Money page for this information.
•    The physical address of the jail.

Because this section is about mailing an inmate, the address for mailing an inmate is:

1125 E. 17th Street
Columbus, NE 68601

or 
Inmate's Full Name
Inmate ID#
Platte County Jail & Detention Center
1125 E. 17th Street
Columbus, NE 68601

If the red address is visible, then use that address, as that is the new address the jail is using for an inmate's personal mail to combat contraband entering the facility.

How do I mail a letter to an inmate in jail?

To mail a letter to an inmate in the Platte County Jail & Detention Center, first completely read all the mail policies and guidelines that are on this page. Also read any updated mail guidelines that are on the official page for facility. If you still have questions, then call the jail at 402-563-4274 and ask specifics.

It is important to understand that if even one thing is done incorrectly when sending a letter to the jail, even if everything else is done correctly, then your letter will not be delivered to the inmate.  In fact, even though the jail claims they will mail your letter back to you so that you will know it was not delivered, there is always the chance it will be disposed of. 

So here you are at home, wondering why your inmate is not responding to your letter, when in fact, they may not have even received it.

How do I address an inmate?

All mail to the inmate must be addressed as follows:

A full return address, which includes your full name and full address.  Without this the mail will not be delivered to the inmate.

A complete address to the inmate, including:

Full Name (name that they were booked under)
Inmate ID# (booking #, SO #, etc.)
Inmate’s Housing location (if you know it)
Platte County Jail & Detention Center
Mailing Address
City, State, Zip code

1125 E. 17th Street
Columbus, NE 68601



A letter that is not addressed completely may not get delivered. Keep in mind that often there is more than one inmate in a jail with the same name. You certainly don’t want the wrong inmate getting your private mail, do you?

If a letter is not delivered to an inmate, will they be notified?

Sometimes. There are some jails that will deliver you a notification that a letter which was intended for you was returned because it was either improperly addressed, did not have return address, contained contraband of some sort, had things written in it that were against mail and jail policies, or were sent by someone you were not allowed contact with such as co-defendant or someone the court had forbidden contact with such as a spouse in a domestic violence case.

Most of the time though, the letter is either returned or destroyed, and if there are illegal substances in the letter, it will be turned over to the Platte County Sheriff or District Attorney for possible criminal investigation and/or indictment.

What can I send to an inmate by mail?

Generally nothing but a letter, printouts from a computer printer or photographs can be sent to an inmate in the mail. If there is anything else enclosed, the entire letter and the contents will be returned to you or destroyed.

There are a few exceptions to this, such as several county jails in New York, including the infamous Riker’s Island. Riker’s allows all kinds of things to be mailed to an inmate, including a box of items every month.

Can I send pictures to an inmate?

Every jail has their own policy regarding allowing inmates to receive photographs in the mail, if at all. For Platte County Jail & Detention Center’s policy, review the information on this page.

In general, most jails allow an inmate to have anywhere from four to six photographs in their possession at any one time. These cannot be polaroids, and the photos cannot be construed as even mildly sexual (such as a woman or child in a bathing suit), gang related, drug related or violent.

Some jails allow only photocopied photos.

Some jails only allow photos that are sent digitally and must remain digital.

There are only a few jails that do not allow any photos of any kind.

If you are still uncertain as the policy regarding photographs at this facility, call them at 402-563-4274.

Can I send newspapers, magazines and books to an inmate in the Platte County Jail & Detention Center?

Most jails allow newspapers, magazines and books to be sent to an inmate, if they come directly from the publisher, such as directly from the newspaper or magazine themselves, or from the specific book publisher or trusted mail order source such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

There is often a limit of the quantity of books and magazines an inmate can either receive at one time, receive each month, or have in their possession at any one time. 

Hardcover books, or books with wire spiral binders are never allowed.

Any publications that portray or discuss violence, sex, gang activity, drugs, jail escapes or anything else against jail policies are not allowed and will be returned.

The policy of the Platte County Jail & Detention Center should be detailed on this page. However, if it is not, then call the jail at 402-563-4274 and ask.

Keep in mind that the address the publications should be mailed to is not always the mailing address of where the inmate gets their regular mail, the mail that is scanned and forwarded digitally to them.

The mailing address for publications is:

1125 E. 17th Street
Columbus, NE 68601

or 
Inmate's Full Name
Inmate ID#
Platte County Jail & Detention Center
1125 E. 17th Street
Columbus, NE 68601

Use the address in red if it is visible to you.

NOTE: There are a few New York jails that allow publications to be sent directly to them as opposed to having it sent through the publisher. One of the most notable exceptions is Riker’s Island in New York City.

How often can I send letters or cards to an inmate?

There is no limit to how often you can send letters or cards to an inmate. You are only limited to the types of letters and cards that you can send, considering Platte County Jail & Detention Center’s policies, which are outlined on this page.

How often can the inmate mail letters?

An inmate can mail letters as often as they like.  There is no limit to the number of letters that an inmate can write and send.  They are only limited by the number of stamps they can afford to purchase through commissary, and the amount of commissary spend that the Platte County Jail & Detention Center allows.

What is considered contraband in the mail?

Contraband is defined as anything that the jail does not allow to be mailed to an inmate, which is just about everything. The list would fill ten sets of encyclopedias. 

It easier to say what is allowed to be sent through the mail:

•    When allowed, a certain number of photographs.
•    When allowed, newspapers, magazines and books, if they are sent from a publisher.
•    When allowed, a care package of snacks, hygiene products or clothing from a commissary company that has contracted with the jail.

Can I send printouts from my computer to an inmate?

Some jails allow printouts of photographs and information to be sent to an inmate through the mail. Refer to the mail policy on this page or by calling the jail directly at 402-563-4274.

Can I send an inmate a package?

Many jails contract with companies that send food, hygiene products and/or clothing to inmates. These can be purchased and sent by friends and family on a weekly or monthly basis.

You can only send items from the one that your jail has a contract with. 

Check this page, the Money Page or the Commissary Page for further information, or call the jail at 402-563-4274 to see which one that the Platte County Jail & Detention Center works with.

Here are the commissary package companies, in alphabetical order, that provide this service to jails in the United States:

Access Securepak
Care A Cell
Commissary order
Correct Pay
Express Account
icare
Inmate Canteen
Jail ATM
Jail Pack Store (McDaniel Supply)
My Care Pack
Oasis (jailcanteen)
Prodigy Solutions
Tiger
Union Supply Direct

Can I send an inmate a gift?

The only gifts you can send an inmate must come from one of the stores above, and Platte County Jail & Detention Center must contract with them.

If I send something to an inmate that is not allowed, can the inmate or I get in trouble?

If the item that you send an inmate is illegal, then you and/or your inmate can get in trouble, otherwise if it is not illegal, it will just be destroyed or in some cases, returned to you.

Note that if you continue to send items that are considered contraband, some of your communication privileges with your inmate, such as visitation or phone calls, may be suspended.

Can I send an inmate postage stamps?

No, you cannot send postage stamps. Stamps must be purchased by the inmate through commissary. You can send them the money for stamps, but not the stamps.

How can an inmate get stamps while in jail or prison?

Stamps can be purchased in the jail commissary be the inmate.

If an inmate has no money, will the Platte County Jail & Detention Center give them stamps?

Yes. If an inmate is indigent, the jail will provide them 2-3 stamps, and an equal amount of envelopes and stationery each week. 

What happens if I send the inmate drugs or something that can be a weapon, will I get in trouble?

Yes. If you send the inmate drugs, a weapon or anything illegal, it will be turned over to the Platte County Sheriff or District Attorney and it is most likely that you will be prosecuted. 

Emailing an Inmate with Secure Messaging

Platte County Jail & Detention Center allows Secure Messaging using a third-party service call Access Corrections.

They are the same company that facilitate Secure Deposits and Securepaks, so if you are already registered with them, then you are already approved to send Secure Messages to your inmate.

Register/Log in here.

After Registering/Logging In:

1.     You choose Platte County Jail & Detention Center.
2.    You Search for your inmate by typing in his last name. You can further narrow your search by adding his first name and/or Inmate ID.
3.    You add a credit or debit card.
4.    You buy a message plan (plans and prices vary), or buy credits. One credit costs $0.01.
5.    You select the option for your inmate to be able use the credits which you purchase, to message back to you... Or not.
6.    Platte County Jail & Detention Center charges a fee for each message sent or received.

Important Things to Know

 - Access Corrections has an iphone app and an android app for using their services.
 - ALL of your correspondence will be monitored by the jail. 
 - Do NOT write anything you wouldn’t want repeated in court.
 - Rates vary and are always subject to change.
 - Inmates can write you back ONLY if you select that option.
 - You CAN send photos up to 32MB in file size. Subject to change.
 - You CAN have unlimited credits on your account but are limited in the amount of each credit purchase.
 - You may NOT type or send emoticons.
 - You may NOT copy and paste text. Type directly.
 - You may NOT type profanities, violence or characters not approved. 
 - Due to messages having to be reviewed first, allow up to five days for a message to be delivered.
 - You may NOT transfer credits to another email.

Phone: 866-345-1884

Email:  [email protected]
FAQ
Contact Page
iphone app
Android app

How to address your Inmate's Postcard or Envelope

Inmate's First and Last Name
Platte County Jail & Detention Center
1125 E. 17th Street
Columbus, NE 68601

  • All mail sent to an inmate at the Platte County Jail & Detention Center 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.

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.

POLICIES REGARDING MAILING PHOTOS TO Platte County Jail & Detention Center

  • 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.

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.

How to Both Schedule a Visit and Have Remote Video Visitation with an Inmate incarcerated in Platte County

To register and sign up for a visitation account with CIDNET Video Visitation Service, follow the instructions below:

  • Register and create an account with CIDNET.
  • Type in your Email, Time Zone and First & Last Name of your Platte County Jail & Detention Center inmate.
    1. Click the Create Account button.
    2. Agree to the terms.
    3. Login to your email and open the verification email sent by CIDNET. Click it.
    4. Choose a Security PIN and a Password.
    5. Click the Sign In button.
  • After logging in, from the Menu, choose the state of Nebraska, then the Platte County Jail & Detention Center, then your inmate's name.
  • Once you have completed this, the Platte County Jail & Detention Center will have to give final approval for you to set up a video visitation account with your inmate.

For all the information you need to know, including instructions, special links, policies, rules, tips and solutions to possible issues regarding regular visitation and remote video visits with an inmate in Platte County, visit our full page guide

NOTE: All visits are recorded. Whatever you talk about, can and will be used against your inmate in court. Never discuss their pending criminal case!
Also, be warned that CIDNET may be collecting voice prints for a database which they may be sharing with law enforcement agencies.


 

How to Make and Receive Phone Calls and Video Phone Calls from an Inmate in Platte County

To register and sign up for a phone account with CIDNET Inmate Phone Service, follow the instructions below:

  • Register and create an account with CIDNET.
  • Type in your Email, Time Zone and First & Last Name of your Platte County Jail & Detention Center inmate.
    1. Click the Create Account button.
    2. Read the Terms of Use, then click Agree.
    3. Login to your email and open the CIDNET email.
    4. In the email, click the Complete Your Verification link.
    5. Choose a Security PIN and a Password.
    6. Click the Sign In button.
  • After logging in, from the Menu, choose the state of Nebraska, then the Platte County Jail & Detention Center, then your inmate's name.
  • Once you have completed this, the Platte County Jail & Detention Center will have to give final approval for you to set up a phone account with your inmate.

For all the information you need to know, including instructions, policies, tips and solutions to possible issues regarding making phone calls with an inmate in Platte County, visit our full page guide

NOTE: All phone conversations are recorded. Whatever you talk about, can and will be used against your inmate in court. Never discuss their pending criminal case!
Also, be warned that some phone providers are collecting voice prints for a database which law enforcement agencies are building.


 

How to send a text or email to an inmate in Platte County

To send and receive secure texts or emails from an inmate housed in Platte County follow these instructions:

  • Register and create an account with CIDNET.
  • Choose a Security PIN and Password.
  • After logging in, from the Menu, choose the state of Nebraska, then the Platte County Jail & Detention Center, then your inmate's name.
  • Once you have completed this, the Platte County Jail & Detention Center will have to give final approval for you to communicate by email with your chosen inmate.

For all the information you need to know, including instructions, policies, tips and solutions to possible issues with Texting and Emailing an inmate in Platte County, visit our full page guide


 

How to Send a Secure Email Message to an Inmate in Platte County

To send a secure email message to an inmate in Platte County Jail & Detention Center follow these steps:

  • Register with Access Corrections by creating an account.
  • Select Nebraska, then select Platte County Jail & Detention Center, and then the inmate you want to send your message to.
  • Choose the amount of money you want to spend, and input your payment method. The funds can also be used by the inmate to send a message back to you.
  • NOTE: All messages between you and your inmate will be permanently recorded and seen by the staff and could be used against your inmate in court.

For all information on how to Text/Email an Inmate in Platte County Jail & Detention Center check out our Secure Messaging Guide for Platte County.


 

How to Send a Carepack Commissary Package Directly to an Inmate in Platte County

To send a commissary carepack (food, snacks and goods) directly to an inmate in Platte County Jail & Detention Center follow these steps:

  • Select Nebraska, then select Platte County Jail & Detention Center, and then select the 'Send a Package Order' option.
  • Register and create an account with Access Securepak, for Platte County.
  • Choose the inmate and the products you want shipped to them, and input your payment method. 
  • NOTE: There may be a limit on how much product you can send your inmate in Platte County at any one time.

For all information, tips and available items for shipping Commissary packages to an inmate in Platte County Jail & Detention Center check out our Commissary Instructions Page for Platte County.


 

How to Send Money to an Inmate in Platte County

To send commissary money to an inmate in Platte County Jail & Detention Center follow these steps:

  • Register with Access Corrections by creating an account.
  • Select Nebraska, then select Platte County Jail & Detention Center, and then the inmate you want to send money to.
  • Choose the amount of money you want to send, and input your payment method.

For all information on how to Send Money to an inmate's account check out our full money and commissary guide for Platte County Jail & Detention Center.


 

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