Rikers Island - West Facility Inmate Mail

Rikers Island - West Facility INMATE MAIL

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

Inmate Name, Inmate ID#
Rikers Island - West Facility
16-06 Hazen Street
East Elmhurt, NY 11370
Phone: 718-546-4120

All mail sent to an inmate at the Rikers Island - West Facility 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:

  • Rikers Island - West Facility 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 Rikers Island - West Facility in East Elmhurt, New York.

Follow these instructions exactly to help ensure that your inmate receives his/her mail and not have it thrown away.
The Rikers Island - West Facility has a zero-tolerance policy regarding mail violations.

Rikers Island - West Facility Inmate Mail Announcement

Staff at the Rikers Island - West Facility has increasingly been finding letters that are being mailed to inmates being dipped into illegal drugs in liquid form. Because of this crime they may be eliminating all direct mail from families and friends and moving to a system where all personal mail (not legal) is sent to a third party who will either provide photocopies of your letters or will forward them in a digital form to be read by inmates on terminals in their unit.

Instructions on this service are listed below, or will be outlined in detail when this new policy takes affect. If you have any questions, call the Rikers Island - West Facility at 718-546-4120.

Mail Policies regarding letters, postcards, greeting cards, digital mail, newspapers, magazines and books are listed below. Scroll down for instructions. Failure to adhere to them will result in your inmate and you losing certain privileges.

Rikers Island - West Facility Physical Address

16-06 Hazen Street
East Elmhurt, NY 11370


Rikers Island - West Facility Mailing Address
Inmate Name, Inmate ID#
Rikers Island - West Facility
16-06 Hazen Street
East Elmhurt, NY 11370

TYPE OF MAIL ALLOWED FOR Rikers Island - West Facility

Postcards

The Rikers Island - West Facility 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 Rikers Island - West Facility also allows inmates to receive letters in envelopes as long as they aren’t altered by things such as perfume or lipstick.

Click here  to look up the inmate’s Booking and Casing number. Once the link opens, click on inmate look-up. Input the inmate’s first and last name and locate the Booking and Casing number.

Address the envelope or postcard like this:

Inmate Name, Inmate ID#
Rikers Island - West Facility
16-06 Hazen Street
East Elmhurt, NY 11370

You must also place your full name and address in the left-hand top corner of the envelope or postcard.

Incoming mail without a return name and address may be rejected by jail staff.

There is no limit to the number of pages you send as long as the weight does not exceed 15 pounds, which would be almost impossible with a handwritten letter.

Newspapers & Magazines

Detainees in Rikers Island - West Facility may receive one cubic foot (12 inches X 12 inches X 12 inches) of non-legal printed materials, including soft and hardcover books, magazines, newspapers, periodicals, pamphlets, advertisements and other printed articles, in any combination.

News, special interest or sports magazines may be mailed directly from the publisher or from a private person. Magazines do not have to be new.

The label should be addressed in the same way you address the letters – with first name, last name and booking number.

 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.

Mail subscriptions to:

Inmate Name, Inmate ID#
Rikers Island - West Facility
16-06 Hazen Street
East Elmhurt, NY 11370

Books

Rikers Island - West Facility will also allow the inmate to receive books by mail. They can be sent directly from a vendor such as Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com or you can send them yourself. They do not have to be new.

While there isn’t a rule against hardcover books, the jail staff has discretion in whether to allow hardcovers, therefore, it is best to always send softcover books. Mail them to the same address you mail letters and be sure to put the inmate’s booking number on the label.

It is a good idea to also write the inmate’s first and last name and booking number in the inside flap of each book if they are being sent from home.

Books must NOT contain images or content that are considered excessively violent, pornographic or obscene. Any book that does not meet the Rikers Island - West Facility standards will be disposed of.

Clothing

You are allowed to mail clothing to an inmate but cannot mail clothing that is camouflage, blue, red or yellow in color.

Jail staff strongly recommends you send brown, grey or white clothing. You cannot send shoes or slippers. They must be purchased from commissary.

Shoes are only allowed for courtroom appearances or other outside needs such as the funeral of a family member,  etc.

Inmates are not allowed to wear button-down white shirts.

The box cannot weigh more than 15 pounds and must be less than 12 inches high, 24 inches deep and 24 inches wide.

Packages

Packages cannot exceed fifteen pounds (15 lbs.) and shall be less than twenty-four inches (24") wide, twelve inches (12") high, and twenty-four inches (24") deep.

All items brought or shipped to the Rikers Island - West Facility will be thoroughly searched for contraband.  Anyone bringing contraband into the facilities will be arrested and prosecuted.

  • Toiletries and food items are prohibited. They must be purchased by the inmate in the commissary.
  • Cash for inmate fund accounts is no longer being accepted by mail.  Only money orders and cashier checks will be accepted by mail.
  • NO clothing, footwear or accessory is permitted in the colors of red, yellow, and light blue. Permissible colors for clothing and accessories for detained persons are: Brown, Grey or White, but no button down white shirts. Permissible colors for footwear are: Black, White or Grey or any combination of the three.

The following is a list of the ONLY items that may be brought in for an inmate or sent by mail. Permissible items delivered to the facility must be mailed or brought in an open paper shopping bag, labeled with the name and address of the sender and the name and facility address of the inmate.

Inmates are allowed to have the following clothing items in their possession:

Personal Items

  • *One Coat (Non-uniform, No Blue or Camouflage, No leather, "Carhart"  "Dickies" or Bubble Coats, etc.)
  • *One Suit Jacket (Non-Uniform, No Blue or Camouflage, No leather or "Carhart").
  • *One Pair of Gloves (For outdoor cold weather, October-April).  No work or leather gloves, knit type only.
  • *One Hat/Cap (Non-uniform, no stocking type caps).
  • *One Raincoat (Non-Uniform or reversible, no black, no camouflage and no hoods).
  • ** One pair of Shoes or Sneakers, (No hollow chambers or platform soles, Converse All-Stars high tops, New Balance, Nike or Adidas sneakers or boots, to be used for on-trial court appearances or a significant family event. Shoes cannot have metal supports/shoe shanks).
  • ** Two sets of shoelaces to be used for on-trial court appearance or a significant family event.
  • Four sets of underclothing (In accordance with the inmate's sex unless otherwise approved by medical).
  • Four pairs of socks.
  • Four pairs of Stockings, Panty hose, Knee-hi's (Combination) - (female only).
  • Two pairs of pajamas (men).
  • Two nightgowns or two pairs of pajamas (female only).
  • One bathrobe.
  • One Housecoat (female only).
  • *Two sweaters/sweatshirts (combination) (sweatshirts - no hoods or pockets).
  • *Two pairs of Shorts or Cut-off Long Pants.
  • *Four pairs of pants (Non-uniform, no dark blue or camouflage).
  • *Four shirts/blouses (Non-uniform, no white, dark blue or camouflage).
  • *Four dresses (female only).
  • *Four skirts (female only).
  • *One Belt (Maximum 1 ½" wide, buckle maximum 2 ¼" x 2", Non-elastic).
  • *One tie (No black) (male only) (Not allowed for detainees housed in mental health observation).
  • Two handkerchiefs (white only).
  • Two scrunchies (ponytail holder).

*Items marked with an asterisk (*) are not allowed for any sentenced inmate unless he/she is scheduled for court or is going to attend a significant family event.

** Detainees are not permitted to wear personal footwear, except for scheduled on-trial court appearances or significant family events. Upon admission, all detainees are issued one pair of Department issued footwear. All detainees are allowed to have one (1) pair of personal footwear in their property, which will only be re-issued for scheduled on-trial court appearances or significant family events.

Stationery Supplies

  • One (1) calendar
  • Six (6) pencils (No erasers, no metal parts)
  • Six (6) charcoal sketch pencils
  • Two (2) erasers (gum, rubber, or ink)
  • Three (3) composition books
  • Six (6) pads
  • One (1) pack of writing paper
  • Ten (10) envelopes
  • One (1) ruler (No metal or metal edge)
  • One (1) portfolio (legal size, cardboard only)
  • One (1) pair of prescription eyeglasses

Detainees may NOT possess or receive photographs that include pictures of themselves. Polaroid photographs are prohibited.

Jewelry

Although it is recommended that Rikers Island - West Facility inmates receive or possess jewelry, detainees may receive the following items of jewelry:

  • One watch (date and time functions only – maximum value $50)
  • One (1) wedding band (no stones or protrusions - maximum value $150)
  • One (1) religious medal (no stones, pins, or protrusions) if worn around neck, a thin chain no longer than 26 inches may be worn (maximum value $50)

Emailing an Inmate

A growing number of jails now offer email services to inmates and their families. This can save you time by letting you view your email from your Smart Phone, computer or tablet whenever you wish.

In addition, you don't have to deal with envelopes, stamps or the post office.

Inmates like it because the emails typically eliminate delayed mail runs so they can get your correspondence much more quickly and send responses immediately.

Jail staff likes it as it eliminates concerns about contraband entering the facility in envelopes and on paper. It also allows the jail to have an electronic record that can be called upon at any time.

Anything you or your inmate writes in an email service is put through a filter program that looks for certain words related to criminal and/or gang activities.

There have been multiple cases in which emails between inmates and their friends or loved ones has been used as evidence in criminal court cases to convict them or to file new charges.

Call 718-546-4120 or click here to see if email services are being offered at this jail and if so, how to sign up you and your inmate.

HOW TO ADDRESS YOUR INMATE'S POSTCARD OR ENVELOPE

Inmate Name, Inmate ID#
Rikers Island - West Facility
16-06 Hazen Street
East Elmhurt, NY 11370

All mail sent to an inmate at the Rikers Island - West Facility 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

There is no limit to the number of pages you can send in a letter.

You are also allowed to send greeting cards including those that have glitter decorations or play music.

Examples of prohibited items include:

  • Toiletries and food items are prohibited. They must be purchased by the inmate in the commissary.
  • Cash for inmate fund accounts is no longer being accepted by mail.  Only money orders and cashier checks will be accepted by mail.
  • NO clothing, footwear or accessory is permitted in the colors of red, yellow, and light blue.
  • Permissible colors for clothing and accessories for detained persons are: Brown, Grey or White, but no button down white shirts.

POLICIES REGARDING MAILING PHOTOS TO Rikers Island - West Facility

Photos should not exceed 4 inches high x 6 inches wide.

While there isn’t a limit on the number of photos you can send, jail staff recommends you not send more than 5-7 at a time.

Polaroid Photos are prohibited.

Inmates are not permitted to receive any photo that includes himself or herself. For example, if you are sending photos of the family reunion, do not send any that include the inmate in the picture.

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 718-546-4120 or check the most recent policies regarding inmate photos on the jail's website by going here.

Important Mail Tips

All mailed packages will be opened and inspected. If any contraband is found in a package you mailed, you can be arrested and charged with a criminal offense. Your inmate can also be charged with a crime.

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.

Click here to view contact information for the Rikers Island - West Facility.

How do you Visit an Inmate in NYC Rikers or other Correctional facilities?

To lean about inmate visitation in the NYC Correction Department, read the following:

TELEVISITING (Remote Visitation)

Televisiting will take place from 8:00am to 2:00pm on Saturday, and 8:00am to 2:00pm on Sunday. Televisiting follows the Department's existing in-person visit schedule, which organizes visit days based on the first letter of the person in custody's last name. Please refer to the Visit Schedule in order to determine which day of the week you may visit your loved one.

VISIT SCHEDULE (changes monthly)

In-person visits will take place Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.- and Friday mornings from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Visitors need to arrive 1 hour prior to their scheduled visit time. Visits will follow the existing visitor schedule according to the last name of the individual in custody.

To learn more about the Rikers Island - West Facility inmate visitation procedures, polices and schedules, which change monthly, check out our Inmate Visitation Page.


 

Can Inmates Use Tablets in the Rikers Island - West Facility, and Rikers Island and NYC DOC Jails?

To find out if NYC DOC inmates have access to Tablets, check out our Tablet Rental Page.


 

How Inmates in Rikers Island - West Facility, Rikers Island and the entire NYC DOC Jail System Make Phone Calls

To find out how Rikers Island - West Facility makes phone calls, read this information:

  • Inmates in the Rikers Island - West Facility can make 21 minutes worth of domestic calls every three hours, with no call going longer than 15 minutes.
  • Inmates in Segregation get less time, and only once a day maximum.
  • There is a fee if an inmate wants to buy more phone calling time when incarcerated in the NYC DOC.

For all the information on how to buy time, using tablets to make calls, how much it costs and more, check out out Inmate Phone Page.


 

How to Deposit Money in the Account of an NYC DOC Inmate in Rikers Island - West Facility

To deposit money in the commissary account of an NYC DOC inmate, follow these instructions:

  • You can deposit money online using Jpay, Western Union or Moneygram. The money can also be used for bail.
  • You can mail a money order of cashier's check into Rikers Island - West Facility.
  • You can deposit cash into a kiosk that is located in the Vernon C. Bain Center in the Bronx.

For all the information, including links to all of the online deposit methods and addresses fo mailing money orders, check out our Send Money Page.


 

What is the Rikers Island - West Facility?... Where is it Located?... Who is in Jail There? ... How Many Inmates are There?

  • Rikers Island - West Facility is one of twelve jails in the New York City Department of Correction.
  • There are 940 beds in the facility.
  • There are over 18800 of Bookings every year.
  • It is located on the 19th Floor of the Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan.

For all the information about Rikers Island - West Facility, how to reach an inmate there, how to find out if the inmate is there, or where he went when he was released, check out our Family Info Page.


 

How to Mail, What Can you Mail and What Can't you Mail to an Inmate in Rikers Island - West Facility, or Rikers Island or NYC DOC Inmates

To understand the Mail Policies for Rikers Island - West Facility requires a lot of time and attention as NYC DOC Jails are some of the most permissive in America.

1. Rikers Island - West Facility allows unlimited mail.
2. They allow packages to be sent in to inmates.
3. They allow magazines, newspapers and books to be sent direct from friends and family.
4. They allow clothing, jewelry, art supplies and all kinds of stuff to be sent to inmates.

In short, to fully understand the Rikers Island - West Facility and see the full list of things you can mail to an inmate, check out our Inmate Mail Page.


 

How to Look Up an Inmate in Rikers Island - West Facility, Rikers Island or the NYC DOC Jail System.

To look up an inmate in Rikers Island - West Facility or any of the New York City Department of Correction follow these instructions:

1. Proceed to the NYC DOC Inmate Locator Page.
2. Type in the inmate's first name, last name or case and book number.
3. If you just type in the first name or last name, you will see a list of every inmate that uses that name.
4. Select your inmate from that list.

For full instructions on how to interpret the information on the Inmate Search Locator including criminal charges, bail, court dates and more, check out our Mugshots Page.


 

How to Order Commissary for Rikers Island - West Facility, Rikers Island or NYC Jails

Instructions for ordering commissary for Rikers Island - West Facility will soon be announced.
The New York City Department of Correction is rolling out a new commissary system in the Spring of 2022. Inmates will be able to order commissary directly and have it delivered from an outside vendor. Stay tuned for updates.

This jailhouse 'Uber Eats' system will be replacing the current commissary system.

Stay tuned by checking out our Commissary Page for Rikers Island - West Facility


 

How to Bail out an Inmate in Rikers Island - West Facility or any NYC or Rikers Island Jail

To Bail out an inmate in Rikers Island - West Facility or a New York City Jail follow these instructions:

1. You can post bail either online or in person.
2. To post bail online or in person you need the exact name your inmate used when arrested, and their book and case number. You can find this information here.
3. You can use one of multiple payment systems online.... Western Union, Moneygram or Jpay.
4. In person bail payments must be made in Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx.
5. Personal checks or Money Orders exceeding $1,000 will NOT be accepted for bail.

For the complete information on how to bail out someone from Rikers Island - West Facility or any Rikers island or NYC Jail, check out our Inmate Bail Page.


 

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