Why Write to a Prisoner?
Writing letters to prisoners is an act of kindness that can have a profound impact on both the inmate and the writer. According to studies, prisoners who receive regular correspondence are less likely to commit new offenses after their release.
In addition to reducing relapsing rates, when you write to a prisoner, it can also improve their mental health and well-being by providing a sense of connection to the outside world.
By taking the time to write a prisoner, you can make a positive difference in someone's life and contribute to the rehabilitation and reintegration of incarcerated individuals back into society.
How Writing to Prisoners can Bring Positive Change
Sending a letter to a prisoner can have a profound impact on their general well-being. Here are some benefits of writing letters to prisoners:
- Reduces loneliness and isolation
Prison can be a lonely and isolating place. Writing letters can provide prisoners with a sense of connection to the outside world.
- Offers emotional support
Letters can provide emotional support and encouragement to prisoners, which can help improve their mental health.
- Builds self-esteem
Receiving letters can make prisoners feel valued and cared for, which can help build their self-esteem and confidence.
- Improves writing and communication skills
Writing letters to prisoners can improve the writer's writing and communication skills, as they have to convey their thoughts and emotions effectively.
- Encourages empathy and understanding
Writing to prisoners can help break down stereotypes and encourage empathy and understanding towards those who are incarcerated.
Want to Write to a Prisoner? Here's How It Works.
- Step 1: Choose a prisoner.
There are two options. You can write to someone you know, or you can use an online pen pal registry to find a prisoner to write to.
Option 1: Write to a prisoner you know
Consider reaching out to someone you know who is currently incarcerated and providing them with some emotional support by writing them a letter. If the inmate is interested in corresponding, you can establish a prisoner pen pal relationship. To begin, approach the individual and inquire if they would be open to communicating through letters. Clarify your intentions and reasoning for writing back and forth. Keep in mind that some prisoners may decline the offer, and that is acceptable as it is their decision. Before starting any pen pal relationship, ensure that you have genuine intentions for writing. Receiving letters can be a source of encouragement for prisoners, but it is vital to establish clear boundaries and expectations and to follow through with your commitments.
If you plan to write to someone you know who is incarcerated, you will need to acquire their mailing address. You can obtain the address by contacting the prison or someone close to the individual. It is important to include all essential information when addressing the envelope to ensure that it reaches the intended recipient.
Option 2: Find prisoner pen pals online
Another approach to establish an inmate pen pal relationship is to use an inmate pen pal registry, such as Friends 4 Prisoners. Our platform offers profiles of inmates searching for a pen pal, allowing you to browse through their pictures and learn more about their interests.
It is crucial to select an inmate whose expectations align with your own. For instance, if you seek a friend or mentor, avoid picking someone who is seeking a romantic relationship.
- Step 2: Draft your letter
How to draft your letter
When it comes to drafting your first letter, there are a few key factors to keep in mind:
- Introduce yourself: Start your letter by introducing yourself and providing some basic information about yourself. This can include your name and where you're from. Keep in mind that this is your first introduction, so try to make it memorable.
- Be mindful of personal information: While it's important to provide some basic information about yourself, refrain from disclosing any overly personal information, such as your full name and address. You want to establish a personal connection, but you also want to protect your privacy.
- Offer words of encouragement: When you write to a prisoner, try to offer words of encouragement to the recipient. Let them know that you're excited to get to know them better and that you're looking forward to hearing back from them.
- Mention common interests: Take the time to read the recipient's profile and mention topics that piqued your interest. This will help you establish a personal connection and show that you're genuinely interested in getting to know them better.
- Keep it casual: When introducing yourself, try to keep it casual and approachable. Introduce yourself as you would when meeting someone for the first time and try to establish a friendly tone in your letter.
- Step 3: Receive a letter back
Receiving a letter back is a great experience. But remember to be patient. If you don’t get a response right away, don’t give up. The mail is typically slow for prison inmates, and their internet time is often limited. Their emails are also screened before being distributed, so it can take a while for you to get a response.
However, it's also important to remember that sometimes a prisoner may decide not to write back. It is essential to respect their decision.
Once you receive a letter back, be sure to thank your pen pal in your next letter.
- Step 4: Keep the friendship going
To keep your relationship going with your pen pal in prison, it's really important to keep talking to them. Be honest and polite when you write a prisoner. If you want to stop writing, it's better to tell them than just stop suddenly. This can be really discouraging.
Keep the conversation going long term by asking them questions in your letters, which will also help you get to know each other better.
Ready to write a prisoner? Check our prisoner profiles now.
We can help you support an inmate pen pal. Our online program connects individuals with prisoners seeking pen pals. Click here to browse our prisoner profiles and start writing today.