How to Send Money to an Inmate in Wisconsin

People in prison or jail need money for the commissary, where they buy snacks, drinks, reading materials, shoes and clothing. Inmates also need money for medical expenses and the daily fee charged by some prison systems. It is a misconception that inmates live in jail for free or get perks at no charge while incarcerated; they do have to pay for many of these items.

Find out where the inmate is housed. Regulations for sending money vary depending upon whether the facility is a county jail or state prison. You will need the inmate's identification number, also known as a register number, offender number or DOC number.

Contact the jail and ask if you can bring the money with you during a visit. Some county jails will allow this, but Wisconsin State Prisons and the federal prison in Oxford will not.

Mail the money to the inmate if you cannot give it to him during a visit. Find the proper address for sending money, and write the inmate's name and identification number on the cashier's check or money order. You may also need to write the inmate's name on the envelope, depending upon the rules of the specific institution.

Send money via Western Union if the jail allows it. JPay is another electronic service that can be used for inmates in the Milwaukee County Jail. Since these options are electronic and aren't screened as rigorously, the inmate may receive the money faster.


  • Mailing information is available on each jail's website or by calling the prison.


  • Don't send cash through the mail.