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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions


Below are some areas in which you may find answers to your questions or your curiosities.

1. Why should I write to an Inmate?
2. Are these women for real?
3. Can I email the inmates?
4. Are phone calls allowed?

5. What to watch for when looking for a sincere pen pal / friend / lover?

6. What are the rules of the prisons?
7. Proper addressing of mail.

1. Why should I write to an inmate?

I am sure that the initial purpose for writing inmates is to help in the rehabilitation process and to offer another human being some kindness and compassion. So it would only be a good thing to give your time and kindness to someone who could really use it. This isn't the only reason, but it does serve to help the inmates' minds and spirits.

Sometimes people on the outside need someone to lift their hearts and minds and they find that in writing to someone who has kind words for them. Whether with sincerity or with ???? the words offered on paper or in a visiting room can make a difference to someone looking for a friend.

Lastly, there is that bit of curiosity that can only be settled by actually doing something. Curious of how inmates live, what they think about, how they feel in their surroundings. Prison, literally is another world. Unless you have been there you will not begin to know the hardships that go along with the regret for the mistakes people make to become a convict.

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2. Are these women for real?

These women are seriously looking to find friends, pen pals and lovers. Before going to prison these women were just like you and I walking around shopping, going to work and having fun. They are looking forward to returning to that type of life knowing they don't ever want to go back to where they are now. Getting a letter from you would make any of these ladies' days wonderful and much easier to get through. This feeling will last the rest of the week as they will be waiting in anticipation for your next reply.

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3. Can I email the inmates?

No. These inmates do not have access to the internet. Some may have access to a computer or typewritter, but they are limited to using them only for typing mailed letters. Therefore all correspondence will be through postal mail.

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4. Are phone calls allowed?

Yes. Most prisons have some sort of priviledge for phone use, however this will depend on the 'level' that your pen pal is on. Meaning, some inmates have had their priviledges taken away by being put on a lower level. As they show signs of good behavior and stay out of trouble they will move up in their levels and again receive priviledges.

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5. What to watch for when looking for a sincere pen pal / friend / lover?

There REALLY are sincere women in prison looking to just have someone to write to. Someone to help pass the time easier and allow for thoughts or dreams that exist outside of prison walls. However, there are many women who have alterior motives for finding pen pals. Here are a few things that might raise suspicion as to the sincerity of an inmate.

Request for money at the onset of exchanging letters. Usually less than $10 will be enough to keep your penpal writing to you for a month or more.

Requests for taking action on their part by contacting other inmates. Some prisons no longer allow inmate to inmate correspondence and so the inmates may persuade you to mail letters for them. This would probably be something you might offer once you have gotten to know your pen pal better.

Does not want you to visit them. When trying to meet an inmate, inmate penpals may deny you the opportunity for you to visit. This may have merit due to only a limited number of people allowed on their visitor list. The visitor list can be given to you by your pen pal if you would like to request it. Another reason why you might be denied a visit is if the picture or description of your pen pal is not accurate.

Use your good judgement when making prisoner pen pals just as you would meeting a new friend out at the club/bar, grocery store or on the internet.

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6. What are the rules of the prisons?

There are many rules and regulations for prisons and they vary greatly from one to another. The best resource for learning about how to maintain a friendship with an inmate is to go to the website or make a call directly to the prison your pen pal is located. This will give you acurate and up-to-date information.

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7. Proper addressing of mail.

When writing to a prisoner it is important to properly address your letters to your new pen pals. Some of the more common reason for letters being returned are:

  • No return address
  • Incomplete return address
  • No DOC (Department of Corrections) or inmate number
  • No housing unit or cell block provided
  • Including items inside envelope that are prohibited

The mailing addresses we provide are as complete as the inmate could provide. Sometimes when a letter is returned there will be a sticker or stamp with a phone number to call to locate which prison your pen pal has moved to. This is done free of charge.

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