Family and friends of those incarcerated in Ventura County jail facilities will soon have a new way to correspond to those behind bars. The county is launching an "Email an Inmate" program.
The fee-based service will allow community members to send emails to prisoners. The emails will be printed and delivered to inmates; however, the inmates will not be able to respond electronically. As they may currently, inmates will be able to correspond with members of the community via U.S. mail in the form of postcards, letters, greeting cards, by telephone and weekly visits.
Inmates also currently receive postcards from family and friends in addition to magazines and books directly from publishers. There is no restriction on legal or governmental correspondence.
During the initial phase of the program, only text will be allowed. Each email has a maximum of 4,500 characters (the equivalent of one page).
Cost of the participating in the program will be $10 for a set of 10 emails, $23.75 for 25 emails and $45 for 50 emails. A $1.50 processing fee will also be charged for each set.
Inmates will be allowed to recieve up to five emails per day per sender.
The revenue generated from the program offsets the operational costs and credit card processing fee associated with program delivery. All revenue exceeding the operational costs will be deposited into the Inmate Welfare Fund (IWF) Trust account, which, by law, exists for the sole purpose of funding education, vocation, recreation and reentry programs for the inmate population.
To send an email to an inmate, visit the Sheriff's Department website. Click on the “VCSD Jail - Inmate Information” icon and complete the form to locate the inmate. Once the inmate’s record has been located, the community member will be able to click on the button “email” and register their billing and contact information and send the email.