How to Contact an Inmate at the Tooele County Jail
If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you may have already seen our article about visiting the Tooele County Jail. In this article, we’ll be covering another aspect of the jail: its rules for corresponding with inmates, as well as sending money or loading commissary accounts. If you violate these rules by mailing your loved one contraband, or talking about prohibited topics during your phone conversations, your loved one could lose some of their privileges.
Rules for Talking to Inmates on the Phone
Unfortunately, you cannot place calls to inmates at the Tooele County Jail, no matter what your relationship to the inmate may be. The jail’s rules could not be clearer with these five words: “Inmates cannot receive incoming calls.” You will have to wait until an inmate contacts you.
When your loved one does call you, it will be via collect call, so be prepared to spend a little money on your conversation. Fortunately, thanks to new rate caps recently introduced by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), calls are now much cheaper than they used to be: as much as 25% to 50% less. The FCC issued a press release in August of 2013 explaining the new limits and the reasoning behind them.
Cell phones are capable of receiving collect calls, just like landlines. However, since calls from the jail are collect calls, you could run into problems if there’s a block on your phone. Make sure to remove any blocks that could interfere with your loved one’s ability to reach you.
If you have any questions about how calls from the jail work, you’ll need to contact Evercom, the company responsible for the Tooele County Jail’s phone system. To call Evercom, dial (800) 844-6591.
Conversations must not be obscene or discuss criminal activity. Phone calls which violate these rules may be terminated.
How to Send Mail to the Tooele County Jail
You are free to send as much mail as you like to your loved one. However, everything you send must comply with the jail’s strict rules about letters and contraband (prohibited items).
First, all mail must be sent through the U.S. Postal Service. Packages from UPS, FedEx, and similar companies will not be accepted. While you should include a return address in case the mail is not accepted, it should always be written out by hand. If you use a pre-made sticker or label for your return address, the mail could be rejected.
Since the jail does not allow bubble wrap, cardboard mailers, or other forms of bulky packaging, you should keep your mail to a regular white envelope. (You will not be able to send a care package anyway, since numerous items are prohibited unless they are purchased from within the jail, through the commissary, which we will discuss shortly.)
Do not write or doodle on the flap of the envelope. The only markings on the envelope should be the address and return address written on the front. Be sure to use clear block lettering so that your mail gets to the right place without any delays or confusion.
To send a letter to an inmate at the Tooele County Jail, write to the following address:
Tooele County Detention Center
(Inmate’s First and Last Name)
1960 S. Main St.
Tooele, UT 84074
Please be advised that all mail you send to the jail will be opened and thoroughly inspected for contraband and obscene material. With that in mind, don’t write, draw, or enclose anything you wouldn’t want a stranger to potentially read or see. Unfortunately, jail rules mean a diminished expectation of privacy when it comes to your communications with an inmate.
If jail personnel find contraband in your mail – which could be something as harmless as a hardcover book, or a basic hygiene item like a toothbrush – it could result in the inmate losing some of their privileges. If you send contraband which is actually illegal, and not merely a normal item prohibited by jail policy, you could be criminally charged (e.g. drug charges, weapons charges) depending on the nature of the item.
The jail will not forward any mail to other correctional facilities. If you unknowingly write to an inmate who has already been released or transferred, the mail will be sent back to you.
Sending Money: Loading a Commissary Account
Letters aren’t the only things you can send in the mail. You can also send:
- Cashier’s Checks
- Money Orders
- Official Checks
The funds you send will be added to the inmate’s commissary account, so that your loved one can buy items from the jail store. Commissaries typically sell items like food, clothing, hair products, toiletries, medications, and writing supplies. Commissary orders are limited to $40 per order, and are delivered to inmates on Fridays.
You can also add money to your loved one’s commissary account online by following these steps:
- Visit the website for InmateCanteen (inmatecanteen.com), which is the service that handles commissary orders at the Tooele County Jail.
- If you’re new, click the “First Visit? Sign Up” button. If you’re a returning user, click the “Existing Users/Login” button.
- Follow the prompts to deposit funds.
If your loved one is incarcerated at the Tooele County Jail, or if someone you love has been charged with a crime in Utah, you need an experienced and aggressive Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer on your family’s side. To set up a free and private case evaluation, call attorney Darwin Overson at (801) 758-2287 today.