Frequently Asked Questions

How do I visit an offender?

TDOC supports visitation as a part of the overall rehabilitation process and encourages positive interaction with family members.  Eligible inmates shall be allowed visitation privileges within the department’s guidelines.  The incarcerated person may send a blank visitor approval form to prospective visitors.  The form must be completed and returned to the facility with a current photograph attached.  The completed form and photo must be returned to the prison by the potential visitor(s) for processing and/or approval.  Visiting hours vary from prison to prison.  For more information, please review our visitation webpage.

How do I send mail to an offender?

To send mail to an offender, you will need to know the incarcerated person's name at the time of conviction, TOMIS ID number, and name and address of the prison where the person is being housed.

To locate TOMIS ID number and prison location, click here: FOIL - Inmate Search.  If the person you are trying to locate has a common name, you will need a date of birth.

Click on "location" to find the name of the prison.


RMSI - Riverbend Maximum Security Institution
MCCX - Morgan County Correctional Complex

Go to the State Prisons List to select the prison and locate the address.

The envelope should be addressed as follows:


Offender Name/TOMIS ID Number
Name of Prison
Address of Prison

* All letters must contain a return name and address.

How do I deposit money into an offender's telephone account?

To deposit money into an inmate's telephone account, visit ConnectNetwork’s website and choose one of the following options:

  1. ConnectNetwork AdvancePay:  Deposit money for calls specifically to your phone number. This ensures that calls from the inmate to you are charged from the pre-deposited amount.
  2. Connect Network PIN Debit:  Deposit money directly into the inmate’s PIN debit phone account, allowing them to call any number on their approved telephone list once the funds are credited.

Follow the step-by-step guide provided on the website to complete the setup and deposit funds into the inmate’s telephone account. Please note that most ConnectNetwork payments are instantly processed, and all transactions are credited within two business days.

*Deposit transactions may incur fees.

How do I send money to an offenders' trust fund account?

Deposits to an inmate’s trust fund account must be submitted through JPay by one of the following methods:

  1. Online at
  2. JPay 24-hour hotline (800) 574-5729
  3. Mail money order with a deposit slip, to JPay, P.O. Box 279010, Miramar, FL 33027
  4. Visit any MoneyGram location in person and use the receive code 6188

*Deposits cannot be received at any TDOC or CoreCivic facility. Providing money to an offender by any means other than the JPay trust fund account is a security threat to offenders, staff, and the public.  If you are asked to send money, contact TDOC TIPS Hotline immediately (1-844-TDC-FIND).

How do I send a package to an offender?

Family and friends on the inmate’s approved visitor list can order a package for their loved ones through Access Securepak or Union Supply Direct. Items and packages must be sent directly to the facility from one of the approved vendors below:

  1. Access Securepak
    • Online at:
    • Order by phone: 1-800-546-6283
    • Fax your order form to: 1-866-754-2813
    • Mail your order form to: Access Securepak (TN), 10880 Linpage Place, St. Louis, MO 63132
  2. Union Supply Direct
    • Online at:
    • Fax your order form to: 888-857-6219
    • Order by phone: 855-247-6091
    • Mail your order form to: Union Supply Direct, Dept. 400 P.O. Box 9018, Rancho Domingues, CA 90224-9018

The items and number of packages which an inmate receives is dependent on an inmate’s custody level, location, or disciplinary history.  Please carefully review TDOC’s Inmate Mail policy to ensure your package meets all requirements and can be delivered without interruption.

Please note printed materials, such as books, publications, magazines, newspapers, periodicals, circulars, catalogues, or clippings which are portions of same, are not considered packages, but are required to be mailed directly to the facility from the publisher(s).

For more information, refer to policy 507.02 (pdf format)(107 kb).

Can I request that my loved one be transferred to a different facility?

All transfer requests must be initiated at the facility by the inmate.  The inmate is responsible for communicating directly with the unit staff at their facility to request a transfer or when there are questions related to a transfer request.

How do I donate acceptable items to a prison?

For donation consideration, please complete this form.

How do I tour a prison?

The Tennessee Department of Correction offers prison tours to school groups.

If I received my high school equivalency diploma while incarcerated, how do I request a duplicate copy?

Duplicate copies may be requested at

Can I request that my loved one be transferred to a different facility?

All transfer requests must be initiated at the facility by the inmate.  The inmate is responsible for communicating directly with the unit staff at their facility to request a transfer or when there are questions related to a transfer request.

How do I pay a community supervision fee?

The Tennessee Department of Correction has partnered with JPay to facilitate community supervision fees. Effective June 21, 2013, the probation and parole offices may no longer accept fees.

Why do offenders on community supervision have to pay fees?

Community Supervision collects fees from offenders while they are on probation and parole based on the mandates of Tennessee Code Annotated 40.28.201.

What is Community Corrections?

Community Corrections is a court-imposed form of probation. The offender's prison sentence is suspended and community-based supervision is provided by agencies who contract with the State. Offenders under community corrections supervision, unlike regular probation, receive credit, towards the expiration of the suspended sentence, for time served on the program.

What is determinate release?

Determinate release is the release on probation of offenders who are incarcerated with one to two-year sentences at his or her earliest possible release eligibility date.

How many offenders are incarcerated in adult institutions in Tennessee? How many offenders under 18 years of age are in adult institutions?

On December 31, 2023, there were 17,269 males and 1,629 females assigned to TDOC for a total of 18,898 offenders incarcerated in Tennessee's adult institutions.   On December 31, 2023, there were 4 juveniles incarcerated in TDOC facilities.

How much does it cost per day to house a TDOC offender?

In FY 2022-23, the average cost-per-day to house a TDOC offender (including those housed at privately managed facilities) was $111.53. The cost to house a death row offender was $143.39.

How many offenders are on death row in Tennessee?

On May 1, 2024, there were 44 males and 1 female on death row in Tennessee totaling 45 offenders.

How many offenders are serving life sentences?

As of December 8, 2023, there were 1,815 offenders serving life sentences (i.e., life, life minimum and habitual) and 382 are serving life sentences without parole.

As of October 31, 2023, what percent of the Tennessee prison population was incarcerated on charges of:

Homicide - 21.21% (figure includes charges of Murder 1, Murder 2, and other homicides)
Sex Offenses - 13.94% (figure includes charges of Rape, Aggravated Rape, Aggravated Sexual Battery, and other sexual offenses)
Drug Offenses - 18.55

How is recidivism calculated?

The recidivism rate is based upon the number of unique felons released from incarceration and the number of those unique felons who subsequently return to incarceration within three-years of release.

Reincarceration is considered recidivism and is tracked in the Tennessee Offender Management Information System (TOMIS).  Please note that reincarceration counts both offenders who are arrested and placed in jail who have not been found guilty of a new crime, as well as offenders who are convicted of committing a new crime.

For instance, 14,753 unique offenders were released statewide from incarceration during calendar year 2018.  A total of 6,318 of those unique offenders released from incarceration in calendar year 2018 returned to incarceration by the end of calendar year 2021. Therefore, the recidivism rate for unique offenders released from incarceration in 2018 is 42.83%.  The recidivism rate for offenders released from TDOC has dropped almost 8% and is currently at 32.34% for individuals released from a state prison in 2018.

What does unique offender mean?

Unique offender refers to a single person and measures recidivism for the three-year period following the unique offender’s release from incarceration.  A unique offender is considered a recidivist upon their first reincarceration after release.

So, multiple reincarcerations during the three-year period following release would not create a new unique offender or create a different recidivism outcome.

How is the prison recidivism rate different from the jail recidivism rate?

The prison recidivism rate is based upon felons released from incarceration at one of the 14 state prisons.  The jail recidivism rate is based upon felons released from county jails in Tennessee.

When a felon is released from prison or jail after completing their sentence, and therefore not released to any type of probation or parole, is that person tracked for recidivism purposes upon their release?

Yes.  Offenders are tracked for re-incarceration whether they are released to community supervision or at the expiration of sentence.

What is the significance of the three-year mark?

More than 25 years ago, the Bureau of Justice Statistics put forth effort to standardize how recidivism rates were calculated and has adhered to the three-year timeframe in all of their published data.

How does Tennessee compare to other states?

Because many states use a variety of methods and definitions to calculate recidivism rates, a true comparison is difficult to make.

What is the difference between the return rate and the recidivism rate?

Return rate refers to the ratio of released felons in a particular calendar year that return to incarceration within one year of release.  Recidivism rate refers to the ratio of released felons in a particular calendar year that return to incarceration within three-years of release.

How do technical violators factor into recidivism?

An offender incarcerated for a technical violation is counted in the recidivism rate.

Is recidivism calculated by county of conviction or where the returning inmate resides after release?

Recidivism rates are separated in to two groups: prison recidivism rate and jail recidivism rate. The prison recidivism rate is based upon release from a TDOC prison and the jail recidivism rate is based upon release from a Tennessee jail.

How can I learn more about the Tennessee Department of Correction?

While reviewing our website and reading these FAQ's is helpful, another way to really learn about the Department of Correction is to take part in our Citizens' Correctional Academy.

How can I sign up my business to hire offenders and provide gainful employment?

Learn more about offender employment, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, and the Federal Bonding Program.

Fill out an application if you are interested in assisting us by providing employment.

How do I get information on how to do business with the Tennessee Department of Correction?

For information, go to Opportunities for Small Businesses.

Can I be granted access to the ground and/or interior of the historical Tennessee State Penitentiary?

The Tennessee State Penitentiary is closed to the public.  Due to the conditions of the buildings, we do not allow inside access for tours, photos or paranormal activities.  If you are interested in exterior photos, please check our website for dates for our annual 5K Walk/Run.  This is a great opportunity to get those great shots, take on a 5K and help us to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee.  If you are a music and/or film producer, you will need to contact the Tennessee Film Commission.

What method of execution is used in Tennessee?

Lethal injection is now the primary method of execution in Tennessee.  Legislation was passed in March of 2000, specifying lethal injection for all offenders sentenced to death except for death row offenders who committed their crime prior to January 1, 1999. The method of execution for those offenders shall be lethal injection unless electrocution is specifically requested.

When was the last execution in Tennessee?

The last execution in Tennessee was on February 20, 2020. Nicholas Sutton was put to death by electrocution for Murder 1.