Frequently Asked Questions about the Ada County Jail

  1. How do I visit an inmate?
  2. How do I send mail to an inmate?
  3. What can I send to an inmate?
  4. How do I send a book or magazine to an inmate?
  5. How do I call an inmate?
  6. How do I send money to an inmate?
  7. Why does an inmate need money?
  8. What if an inmate has no money in his commissary account?
  9. How is money spent in commissary used by the jail?
  10. Are inmates charged "rent" for their time in jail?

How do I visit an inmate?

All visits between inmates and members of the public are completed online using the Ada County Jail Video Visitation system.  

Click here to register or schedule your next visit. 

How do I send mail to an inmate?

Incoming mail must list the full name and address of the sender and the intended receiver. Improperly addressed mail will be returned. The correct address is:

Inmate's full name
C/O Ada County Jail
7210 Barrister Dr.
Boise, ID 83704

The U.S. Post Office will not accept outgoing mail that contains any drawing on the front of the envelope or mail that contains colored drawings on the back of the envelope.

Inmate mail is subject to scanning. Incoming mail will be inspected and scanned by jail staff to check for contraband, money, escape plans, or writing that may jeopardize the security and order of the facility.

What can I send to an inmate?

Inmates may receive written letters and standard photographs. Polaroid photographs, stamps, envelopes, and other forwarded items are not allowed. Mail content must be thoroughly understandable by jail staff. Mail or publications containing images or depictions of sexual situations, frontal nudity, or sexual acts are prohibited. In addition, mail cannot contain:

  • Intimidation or harassment
  • Gang related writings or drawings
  • Messages (codes) that are not easily understood
  • Plans that violate state, local, federal laws, or jail rules
  • Plans to send contraband (such as drugs) into or out of the jail

At the discretion of jail staff, mail or publications containing unauthorized references or material may be refused, confiscated, destroyed, placed in the inmate's property, or returned to the sender.

How do I send a book or magazine to an inmate?

An inmate may receive newspapers, magazines and books, but they must be received directly from a publisher or bookstore. Any subscription material received after an inmate leaves the jail will not be forwarded. Inmates are prohibited from subscribing to services or ordering merchandise.

How do I call an inmate?

Inmates cannot receive phone calls while in jail. However, most inmates are allowed to purchase phone time that can be used to make outgoing phone calls.

How do I send money to an inmate?

There are three ways to deposit money to an inmate’s account:

  •  In person - A kiosk at the Ada County Sheriff's Office accepts deposits using cash and Visa/debit cards (fee=$2.50-$2.95)
  • Online - Visit Access Idaho to make a secure payment at www.accesscorrections.com (fee=$2.95)
  •  Phone - 1-866-345-1884 (fee=$3.95 and up)

Why does an inmate need money?

Inmates buy a variety of things from the jail commissary: candy, snacks, beverages, writing materials, shoes and clothing, provided they have sufficient funds to pay for what they order.

When money is placed into an inmate's trust account, the first $15.00 is automatically placed in his personal account, which is used for medical co-pays while in custody. The remaining money is automatically placed in his commissary account, which can be used to buy commissary items.

The inmate must maintain a balance of $15.00 in his personal account at all times. Any balance above that can be used to purchase commissary items. The inmate may not use the personal account balance to pay for commissary items.

Funds must be placed into the inmate's account 48 hours before his dorm or cell is scheduled to receive commissary, excluding weekends and holidays.

What if an inmate has no money in his commissary account?

If an inmate has no money in his commissary account for seven days prior to the request for commissary, the jail will supply him with necessary personal hygiene items as determined by jail staff. He will also receive two stamped envelopes and writing paper each week.

How is money spent in commissary used by the jail?

The revenue generated by the commissary program is spent on items used by and for inmates. Examples of this are chairs, books, law library materials, TVs, board games, indigent supplies, etc.

Are inmates charged "rent" for their time in jail?

Idaho Code § 20.607 requires the Sheriff to seek reimbursement for incarceration costs from persons sentenced to jail. The cost is $25 per day, up to $500 (20 days) per incarceration.

Click here for more info.

Do you have other questions? Call the Ada County Jail at (208) 577-3000.