How to contact a federal inmate

Updated on 8/22/2023

Contacting a federal inmate is typically more straightforward compared to county jails or state prisons.

At Pigeonly, we understand the importance of connecting families and friends with inmates in federal prisons, and that’s why we offer a comprehensive solution without the need to sign up with multiple companies.

In this article, we will explore various methods to contact a federal inmate, including a couple of specific examples like sending pictures to federal inmates and learning how to obtain affordable jail calls from them.

We will attach a link to another article if you’re looking for how to email a federal inmate.

Additionally, we’ll cover other topics…

Federal inmate phone calls

At Pigeonly we have 9 years of experience in helping people connect thru calls with federal inmates.

Federal inmate phone calls operate under strict regulations and security measures.

All calls are monitored and recorded for security purposes, and there are restrictions on call duration and frequency. Usually, the duration per call is 15 minutes.

Inmates can make collect calls or use prepaid accounts to pay for the calls. They must submit a pre-approved call list with verified phone numbers.

Inmates make calls from designated phone rooms within the prison, which are monitored to ensure compliance with rules and prevent unauthorized use.

The monitoring of calls serves to prevent criminal activities, maintain safety, and ensure inmates do not engage in illegal activities over the phone. Specific details may vary by prison and service provider.

Phone call costs can be relatively higher than regular services and are typically paid by the inmates unless their loved ones outside the prison deposit the money on their books.

Calls usually range from $0.06/minute to $1.00 per minute. This depends on your location.

$0.06 per minute is if you have a local number and $1 per minute can be if you’re located overseas.

At Pigeonly we help all our customers with local numbers to save the most which is lowering calls to $0.06 per minute, no matter your location.

How to block federal inmate calls

To block federal inmate calls, start by checking if there is an option available during the prompts when the inmate calls you.

If such an option exists, follow the instructions to block incoming calls from the inmate. In case the blocking option is not readily available, call the correctional facility where the inmate is housed.

Speak with the security personnel and inform them about the harassment issue. They should be able to assist you in blocking calls from the specific inmate, as all calls are recorded and can be traced back to the source.

Taking this approach ensures that the facility is aware of the problem and can take appropriate actions to address the situation.

How to unblock federal inmate calls

To unblock federal inmate calls, you need to follow specific steps to reverse the call-blocking action.

First, identify how the calls were blocked, whether through your phone service provider, a “do not call” request to the correctional facility, or phone settings.

If it was done through your phone service provider, reach out to them for assistance.

If it was a facility request, contact the prison administration or the inmate’s counselor to lift the block.

The way you can unblock the number is by sending a written request for reinstatement.

To ensure your identity, the request for unblocking you must include a copy of a recent telephone bill. The prison staff will process your request expeditiously.

After making the necessary changes, be patient as it may take some time for the unblocking to take effect.

Alternatively, explore other communication options like sending letters or email if unblocking is not feasible or if there are valid reasons for maintaining the block.

Always ensure you comply with the facility’s communication regulations. For any difficulties or queries, directly contact the prison administration or counselor for guidance.

Sending pictures to federal inmates

Free prints for federal inmates involves navigating specific guidelines set by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to ensure successful delivery.

Start by confirming the mailing rules at the particular facility where the inmate is located, as each prison might have unique regulations. Typically, printed photographs are allowed, but they must stick to size and format standards, usually 4x6 inches on photo paper.

Avoid explicit content, nudity, or anything that could breach prison rules. Remember to include your name and return address on the envelope or package containing the photos. It’s also important to verify if the facility requires pre-approval of photo content.

By respecting these guidelines, you can share cherished moments with your incarcerated loved ones while ensuring compliance with the facility’s policies. To simplify the process, you can also consider using Pigeonly reputable federal inmate photo services that are well-versed in complying with federal prison regulations.

How to visit a federal inmate

Learn how to visit a federal inmate by following a pre-approval process. Discover who can be added to an inmate’s visiting list, from immediate family to specific groups like religious members and legal advisors.

Be prepared for your visit by understanding dress codes, visiting duration, and general behavior guidelines. While physical contact like handshakes and hugs is allowed, there are limitations for security reasons.

Plan your trip by checking the visiting schedule and finding directions to the facility. Keep in mind that there is no reimbursement for transportation, so arrange your travel accordingly.

For detailed information, consult the specific visiting policy of the facility or contact them directly.

To learn more here is the federal prison general visiting Information page

Can a felon visit a federal inmate

Yes, in most cases, a felon can visit a federal inmate. However, there are certain restrictions and guidelines that must be followed.

When visiting a federal inmate, the visitor’s criminal history is taken into account.

If the visitor has a criminal record, particularly for serious offenses, the prison authorities may conduct a background check before granting permission for the visit.

The purpose of the background check is to ensure the safety and security of the inmates, staff, and other visitors.

Each federal prison may have its own specific rules and policies regarding visitation, so it’s essential for the felon to contact the prison in advance to inquire about the visitation process and any potential restrictions based on their criminal history.

It’s worth noting that while a felony conviction doesn’t automatically disqualify someone from visiting a federal inmate, certain factors such as the nature of the felony and any ongoing legal issues could affect the approval of the visit.

In summary, felons can visit federal inmates, but it is subject to the rules and policies of the specific federal prison, and background checks may be conducted to ensure safety and security. It’s crucial for the felon to check with the prison authorities in advance to understand the visitation requirements and guidelines.


Contacting someone in a federal prison might seem a bit tricky, but it’s not too hard. Federal prisons have certain rules that you need to follow. Pigeonly is here to help families and friends connect with inmates without any extra hassle.

In this article, we talked about different ways to get in touch with a federal inmate. We looked at things like sending them pictures and making affordable phone calls. If you want to know how to email a federal inmate, we have another article for that too.

We also covered other topics like:

  • Making phone calls to federal inmates
  • How to stop calls from a federal inmate
  • How to start getting calls again from a federal inmate
  • Sending pictures to federal inmates
  • Writing letters to federal inmates
  • Figuring out if someone with a criminal record can visit a federal inmate

If you want to talk on the phone with a federal inmate, there are some rules to follow. Calls are checked to keep things safe, and they have to follow certain rules. Inmates can call you collect or use prepaid accounts to pay for the calls. They need to give a list of approved numbers they can call.

Getting calls from federal inmates can cost more than regular phone services. Usually, calls last around 15 minutes and can cost anywhere from $0.06 to $1 per minute, depending on where you are. If you would like to guarantee the cheapest calling rate from federal prison at Pigeonly we also help you.

You can also learn how to stop getting calls from an inmate if you want. Just follow the steps in the article. And if you change your mind, there are steps to start getting calls again too.

Sending pictures to federal inmates is nice, but there are rules to follow. Pictures need to be a certain size and not show anything rude or against the rules. You also need to put your name and address on the envelope.

If someone with a criminal record wants to visit a federal inmate, they usually can. But the prison might check their background first to make sure everything is okay.

In a nutshell, this article helped you learn about different ways to talk to federal inmates. Pigeonly is here to make it all easier. Just follow the steps, and you can stay in touch with your inmate in federal prison.