The Best Sample of a Letter To Prisoner

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How To Write to an Inmate Using a Letter-to-Prisoner Sample

Letters are essential in making inmates at least a little closer to home during their imprisonment days. For your incarcerated friend, partner, or family member, this type of contact can be a refreshing and encouraging experience.

Many people opt to start a correspondence with inmates on websites such as Meet-an-Inmate or Loveaprisoner. You can start as somebody’s prison pen pal and turn into their close friend.

If you are unable to find the right words, find inspiration from letter-to-prisoner samples or other handy templates.

Are There Any Specific Inmate Letter Rules?

All mail that prisoners receive must be sent in compliance with the inmate mail rules and regulations set by the prison authorities. This implies that all the letters you send must go through strict checks. Every letter that deviates from the established laws will probably be returned or discarded.

What is common to all correctional institutions are certain patterns to be followed when writing and addressing the letter to an inmate. You need to state the following details on the envelope:

  1. Full name of the inmate
  2. Inmate’s ID or booking number
  3. The complete physical address of the facility
  4. Sender’s address

Handing over the letter to the prisoner during inmate visitation hours is prohibited and punishable by law.

What To Write to Someone in Prison?

Before you start composing a letter to your incarcerated spouse, friend, pen pal, or family member, you should get informed about what you can write about. We present the list of dos and don’ts in the table below:

You CanYou Can’t
  • Recall nice memories
  • Tell more about yourself
  • Send jokes or anecdotes
  • Write about your everyday life
  • Talk about mutual interests
  • Ask questions about the inmate’s life
  • Mention friends and family members and talk about them
  • Inform the inmate about the news in the state and worldwide
  • Offer words of comfort and encouragement
  • Describe significant moments that happened in the prisoner’s absence
  • Threaten the inmate
  • Write encrypted messages
  • Write negatively about jail officials
  • Talk about crimes or describe them
  • Describe escape plan ideas in the letter
  • Mention drugs or any other prohibited substances
  • Include any drawings that might be interpreted as a hidden message
  • Write explicit letters that include sexual innuendo or explicit photos

Long story short—try not to mention anything you believe the prison officials shouldn’t read, but feel free to write about non-crime related issues.

Letter-To-Prisoner Example

If you are writing to a prisoner for the first time, you might need letter samples and templates to start the correspondence. Here’s an example of how to write to the incarcerated person you already know, such as your friend or relative:

Top left corner:

[Your Full Name]

[Your Physical Address]



Dear [Name of the Inmate],


I hope you are doing fine/I hope my letter finds you well.

I decided to write you a letter because I miss you a lot/I feel lonely without you/I would like to keep in touch with you.


Sorry for not getting in touch for so long—I was [explain]

I have some great news. I/We/Our family/Your family/Your children [explain]

Not all news is that good. What happened is that [explain]

I want you to know that I’m thinking of you all the time and recall all our lovely memories. Do you remember when we [describe a memory, anecdote, or an interesting situation you went through]

Have you heard what’s happening these days? [tell the latest news]

Here’s a great joke for you: [tell a particular joke or funny riddle]

Open-ended questions:

Is everything alright there?/How are you holding up?/How do you spend your time there?/Do you need anything?/Can I send you anything?


This would be all for now.

I hope I’ll hear from you soon/Looking forward to hearing from you/Sending you kisses and hugs/Take care/Love you/Much love


What Should a First-Time Letter to a Prison Pen Pal Look Like?

Getting in touch with your prison pen pal can also be a reason to write a letter. These messages initially don’t have to be as extensive as those you write to your family or friends.

Since it isn’t always easy to start a correspondence with a stranger, you can stick to the following template:


Dear [Name of the Inmate]


I’m writing to you because/I felt like getting in touch with you because [reason]


I found you on [inmate database/website/app name]

What sparked my interest is [explain further]

Here are some facts about me: [describe yourself and your hobbies, interests, etc.]

Open-ended questions:

I can’t wait to find out more about you! Tell me more about yourself./What do you like?/What don’t you like?/What are your hobbies?/What are your favorite books and movies?


Looking forward to hearing from you./Hope to hear from you soon./All the best/Best regards


What Else Can I Add to My Letter?

The sample letter is only an idea that can help you organize your thoughts easier and create a solid structure. You are free to use any provided parts or add your sections and ideas as long as your letter doesn’t violate any prison rules.

DoNotPay Will Send a Customized Letter to an Inmate on Your Behalf

DoNotPay offers samples to compose personalized letters for your pen pals and dear ones without having to write a physical letter.

We turn your digital message into a printed one and address it to the specific facility and inmate. To start a correspondence with an inmate via our app, log in to your DoNotPay account using your and follow these steps:

  1. Find the Connect With an Inmate section and pick Send a Personalized Letter
  2. Input all the necessary details about the inmate
  3. Write your message
  4. Attach a photo (optional)
  5. Style your letter by using one of our templates

There’s also the Virtual Mailbox option that lets you check whether you got any responses from the inmate. To activate this feature, you should check the Allow Replies option while submitting a message.

Once your letter reaches the inmate, they will send their response to DoNotPay. We will turn their physical letter into a digital one and forward it to your Virtual Mailbox.

Locate Inmates in Any Federal or State Prison Using DoNotPay

To write a letter to your imprisoned friend or family member, you need to know the exact location to which you should address your message. DoNotPay offers a comprehensive search tool that can pinpoint any inmate using only two pieces of information.

Here’s how this feature works:

  1. Find the Connect With an Inmate section and pick Locate Someone
  2. Enter the prisoner’s name and the state where they are serving their sentence

As soon as you submit the necessary details, we will track down the inmate and provide you with an accurate location where they are being held.

DoNotPay’s Tips on Keeping in Touch With Inmates

Showing some affection to your loved ones behind bars and your prison pen pals can come in many shapes. DoNotPay can teach you more about inmate communication services such as GTL, Securus, or ICSolutions and give you some tips on how to write the best inmate love letters if your partner is currently serving their sentence.

You can also learn about sending packages to inmates, ways to receive calls from them, and some creative mail ideas you can use. All this and much more is available on our platform. You can access DoNotPay’s useful features from your anytime.

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