If the facility that your inmate is in will only accept pre-metered mail, it is important to know how to get that done. Sticking a regular stamp on it and sending it will only get it sent back or discarded. Your inmate will never see it. You have several options:
Get it Pre-Metered at the Post Office
When you get ready to mail the letter or postcard, go to the counter at the post office and let them know it is going to a correctional facility and must be metered by the machine, and not have a regular stamp put on it. They will meter it for you.
Many retail stores and gas station convenience stores sell pre-metered postcards and envelopes. If you don’t see them at the counter, ask the clerk. Some stores keep them behind the counter to prevent theft.
Ask about the Machine at Work
If your company has a meter machine to send out mail, find out if the company allows employees to pay for metering personal mail and run it through the machine. You don’t have to share information that it is for an inmate if you don’t wish to. Just pay for a few envelopes and postcards at a time and you will be ready to go when you write and get ready to send them. Be sure to get permission so you don’t commit theft and lose your job. It’s not worth the risk, and it’s just plain wrong.
With some planning and action beforehand, you can always be prepared to send mail to your inmate.