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If I send money to an inmate, can I claim that person as a dependent?
No. Since the inmate isn't living with you, the person most likely doesn't meet the residency test.
If you and the inmate are related, there's no residency requirement. The inmate might count as a qualifying relative.
However, you won't meet the support test. The qualifying relative support test requires you to provide more than half your dependent's support. The money you send most likely won't make up half the inmate's support, since you won't be providing big expenses like lodging, food, and clothing.