Fun and Creative Mail Ideas for Inmates

Connect With an Inmate Fun and Creative Mail Ideas for Inmates

Creative Mail Ideas for Inmates To Spice Up Your Conversations

Writing to inmates is always exciting at first, but after a while, you might get bored with the same old topics. This is especially true if you’re corresponding more than once a week, as your life (or theirs, for that matter) probably won’t offer that many things to talk about. 

If your regular conversation topics went dry, you don’t have to slow down your correspondence and feel guilty for making your pen pal or family member wait longer. Check out some fun ideas you could use as inspiration for your letters if creativity isn’t one of your strong suits.

What You Must Know Before Mailing a Letter to an Inmate


If you are new to this and aren’t sure how the procedure works, you might want to read about it first. Prisons won’t accept and deliver your mail that easily. You have to be mindful of the rules that apply to the facility before you send your letter or gift. 

Checking the prison’s website or calling them for information is your best bet, but there are some general rules you can expect to be in place. The common ones are:

  • Don’t include any glitter, confetti, or stickers
  • Refrain from applying any perfume or lipstick kisses on the paper
  • Pornography or violent content are strictly forbidden
  • Paper clips or staples are not allowed
  • No illustrations that could be interpreted as code or gang affiliation symbols

Some of these rules might seem odd at first, but there are good reasons for them. In most cases, the banned items were used to smuggle drugs by sticking them to the letter with a sticker. Be extra careful that you follow all guidelines, or you could cause trouble for the inmate and possibly prevent them from receiving mail ever again.

Creative Letter Ideas for Inmates

Whether you’re writing to someone you’ve known for a long time or striking up a conversation with a stranger, you could always use some fresh ideas. Prevent your conversations from getting stale and boring by including some of the following:

  • A crossword puzzle
  • A game such as battleships or two truths one lie
  • Drawing contests
  • Book passages or quotes you find inspiring or entertaining
  • Random fun facts about yourself that wouldn’t otherwise pop up in a regular conversation
  • Pictures of you or your family if the incarcerated person is your significant other or a family member

You can draw your crosswords with words that relate to you or the inmate somehow. Another great idea would be to start a little book club for the two of you. You can either read the books that the inmate can get in prison or even order a book online and have the store send it to them. Discuss what you liked or disliked and share your favorite quotes and interpretations.

Using DoNotPay To Get in Touch With an Inmate

Now that you have an idea about what to write, it’s time to think about a way to send it. The easiest way to get in touch with your loved one or a friend is with DoNotPay. The app is a few clicks away in your web browser. We will take on the exhausting part of addressing it properly, so the process couldn’t be simpler:

  1. Choose our Connect With an Inmate feature
  2. Hit Send a Personalized Letter
  3. Answer a few questions about the inmate, such as their name and ID number
  4. Write your letter and choose a theme
  5. Add photos if you want to

When you’re done, the letter will be on its way to the prisoner in no time. If you choose so, the replies will be delivered to your Virtual Mailbox. It’s a straightforward process:

  1. The inmate sends a letter to our designated address
  2. We receive the message and digitize it
  3. The digital copy is sent to you via our app

You won’t have to check your mailbox or stay at home to read the inmate’s replies. 

How To Send Creative Letters to Inmates on Your Own

The guidelines for writing a letter aren’t the only ones you need to keep in mind. The rules are quite strict when it comes to addressing the letter and sending your mail. If you forget something or make a single mistake, your family member or pen pal most likely won’t receive the letter. So, how to successfully send mail to prisoners? You need to:

  • Write the inmate’s full name and ID number
  • Put the address of the prison in the second line
  • Add the city, state, and zip code in the third line
  • Provide your full return address on both the envelope and the letter

The inmates often don’t get the envelopes, so you need to write down your address on the letter if you want to hear back from them. In case you don’t know them well and feel uncomfortable giving them your address, you could set up a PO box

Risks and Limits to Sending Mail to an Inmate

Sending mail to an inmate comes with potential risks and unpleasantries. You mustn’t forget that anything you write will probably be read by a guard. That means you should reconsider pouring out everything that comes to mind on paper, as a third party might see it. Skip writing about anything that could land the other person in trouble. The best course of action is to check the prison’s website for guidelines, but in general, here’s what you can and can’t send:

Permitted Banned
  • Paperback books and magazines shipped directly from an online store
  • Photos that don’t contain nudity, violence, or tattoos that could be tied to a gang
  • Plain cards
  • Food
  • Cash
  • Books and magazines you shipped yourself
  • Hardcover books
  • Sexual or violent content
  • Anything with a sticky surface such as stamps, stickers, and glitter glue

Find a Prisoner With DoNotPay if You Don’t Know Where They Are Incarcerated

Don’t panic if you don’t know where your loved one is being held. No matter if they’re in a federal, county, state, or ICE facility, DoNotPay can help you locate them. You only need to provide some basic information about the inmate, and we will take it from there. There are only a few steps you need to take:

  1. Find and click on the Connect With an Inmate feature
  2. Select Locate Someone
  3. Answer a few questions about the inmate

After that, DoNotPay will start searching for them. Once we track them down, you can arrange a visit if you want to. In case you’re unsure about some info, such as their date of birth, you can give an estimate, and we will still be able to run a search. You can open DoNotPay in your web browser and use this feature to find an inmate quickly.

Other Useful Services DoNotPay Can Offer You

Thinking of getting together with an inmate and organizing a prison marriage? We’ll show you how to do it. Tasks such as sending pictures to inmates or inmate text messages are a breeze when you let DoNotPay take care of them. 

Apart from communicating with imprisoned persons, there are many other ways to use our app. 

DoNotPay helps you fight daily battles such as paying your bills and even more serious problems, like having an ex stalking you. Open our app in your web browser, and you won’t have to face these issues alone.

Still skeptical? Maybe you’ll find this overview of tasks we can simplify more convincing: