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Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Center Inmate Mail


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

Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Center
16-00 Hazen Street
East Elmhurt, New York  11370

All mail sent to an inmate at the Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional 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.

Main Phone: 212-266-1500

The information below provides complete instructions regarding the Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Center Inmate Mail Policies, Mail Instructions, what type of mail is NOT allowed, Rules for Mailing letters, photos, postcards, emailing an inmate, magazines, newspapers, books and packages to Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Center 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 - Otis Bantum Correctional Center has a zero-tolerance policy regarding mail violations.


Type of Mail Allowed for Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Center

Postcards

The Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional 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 Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Center also allows inmates to receive letters in envelopes as long as they are altered by things such as perfume or lipstick. They also should not contain stickers or glitter.

To confirm that the Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Center still allows letters in envelopes call 212-266-1500 or view the Inmate Mail Instructions by going here.

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’s name – Booking and Case Number

Rikers Island - Otus Bantum Correctional Center

16-00 Hazen Street

East Elmhurst, 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 for a handwritten letter.

Newspapers

Inmates at this facility are not allowed to have newspaper subscriptions nor can newspapers be mailed directly to them.

Magazines

Inmates can have magazine subscriptions as long as they don’t possess more than 10 books and magazines combined at any given time. News, special interest or sports magazines may 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

Inmates at this facility are allowed to receive books if they are shipped directly from a vendor such as Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. They must be softcover and cannot contain nude or obscene photos. 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 Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional 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 Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Center continues to allow books to be mailed by a third party publisher or bookseller, call 212-266-1500.

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 212-266-1500 or click here or here to see if the Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Center participates in a Care Package program and if so, how to purchase one.



Mailed Items NOT Allowed

If your inmate is mailed anything other than a letter, postcard or greeting card 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.

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 212-266-1500 or click here for a complete list of prohibited items.



How to address your Inmate's Postcard or Envelope

Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Center
16-00 Hazen Street
East Elmhurt, New York 11370

All mail sent to an inmate at the Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional 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.

To confirm the mailing address and/or any new policies regarding inmate mail call 212-266-1500 or check the most recent updates on the jail's website by going here.

Policies Regarding Mailing Photos to the Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional 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.

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 212-266-1500 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 Rikers - Otis Bantum Correctional Center.



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 212-266-1500 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.

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