Tips for Writing an Inmate Pen Pal

So you want to write a prisoner for the first time. There are many considerations, which you must not overlook. Regardless of your intensions for writing, it might be a good idea to take a peek on some of the few things, which will serve as your guide before or during the process takes place. This article will show you some of the best tips, considerations and some information you need to know when writing a prisoner for the first time.

Tips for Writing an Inmate

The feeling of intimidation of writing a letter to an inmate for the very first time is one of the biggest problems that put a writer off in making themselves involved in the process. Another thing is, writing to someone you don’t know can be hard – you don’t know what you will write and what to say. Maybe you’re afraid that the prisoners may not have the same interests you. These are few of the thoughts that float around prior to taking the steps . That is why we have written out some of the suggestions that will help you. These are not rigid guidelines, but can be very useful for anyone looking write the first letter. Let’s start with some basics:

Locate the inmate’s mailing address by visiting the inmate locator for state and federal online. State inmate locators are unique for each state. You can find a link for your state’s by simply using a search engine by typing in “<your state> DOC inmate locator”. For federal, simply search for “federal inmate locator”
Send your letter in a standard sized envelope with no windows
Include your return address (we recommend a PO Box) and return name on the envelope. Many facilities will reject the mail without return name and address
Be creative, engage in nice writing, send photos or drawings of your life
Don’t write things that could potentially cause trouble for the inmate
Think of certain things you want to receive if you were a prisoner
Do not begin asking details questions about the offense of the inmate

Here are a few other things one should consider before, during, and after writing the prisoner:

Some of the prisons are putting restrictions on the number of letters the inmate can send and receive
The prisoner may not have enough money to buy envelopes and stamps, so you should not anticipate an immediate reply from them. Many prisons are allowing stamps or S.A.E. to be included to a letter or card, but some do not
Commonly, the letters are read, diverted, stopped and delayed
You will need to include your return address to let the inmate know your place if they wish to reply. Your return address is important because some prisoners do not accept letters without it

Now it’s Time to Write an Inmate!

Start off by simply sharing with the inmate a little bit about yourself and your intentions for writing. Provide the prisoners with something interesting in your letter. Life inside can be mundane, so you can catch their interest by providing some exciting news to brighten their day.