How Do You Send Money to Someone in Jail?

Follow the procedures for sending money online or mailing funds to the prison where the inmate resides, according to the Bureau of Prisons and Western Virginia Regional Jail. The exact process differs from one state to another as well as from the state to federal prison systems.

For inmates in the federal prison system, send money electronically using Western Union or MoneyGram. In either case, you need the inmate's prison account number and full name. It's also possible to send money through the mail, as long as you get a money order. Use the online inmate look-up on the Bureau of Prisons website, determine the inmate's location, and then send the money order with inmate name and account number on it to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, as stated by the BOP.

State prisons have their own procedures for receiving and handling money for inmates. For example, the Western Virginia Regional Jail accepts cash, cashier's checks, money orders or checks from other correctional facilities, either in person or through the U.S. Postal Service. If you're delivering cash in person, an ATM in the lobby lets you deposit funds, and you can use credit cards at that machine as well, for a 10 percent fee as of 2015. Through the mail, cashier's checks and money orders are accepted by the Western Virginia Regional Jail. Check with the prison bureau in charge of the facility where your friend or relative is incarcerated to make sure that your method meets their regulations.