How To Write a Prisoner Stress-Free

Connect With an Inmate How To Write a Prisoner Stress-Free

How To Write a Prisoner—Stay in Touch With Inmates Hassle-Free

Inmates love receiving letters because it helps them feel less lonely. If one of your loved ones is in prison, consider visiting them or at least sending a letter whenever you can because it will raise their spirits and help them go through that difficult period.

Writing letters to inmates might seem easy, but your letter can be rejected and sent back even for the smallest mistake. That’s why it’s crucial to understand all the rules before writing, addressing, and sending something to prisoners.

Essential Things To Know When Writing Letters to Prisoners


The first thing you need to be aware of is that correspondence with prisoners takes more time than usual because of the necessary inspection of each item they receive or send.

When it comes to the content of the letter, you can write about anything you want but be aware that the inmate you’re writing to won’t be the only person to read it. Prison staff goes through everything that prisoners receive and controls it thoroughly. 

Prisoners get to keep their letters, and they usually reread it frequently, so your kind words of encouragement can help a lot.

How To Write Letters to Prisoners

One of the most important things when it comes to writing to inmates is knowing how to address the letters. If you make an error when writing the address, your letter will probably be rejected. 

You need to write both your and the inmate’s address on the outside of an envelope, and here’s how:

In Center of the Envelope In the Upper Right Corner of the Envelope
First Line Inmate’s name, surname, and ID Your name and surname
Second Line The address of the facility  Your address
Third Line City, state, and ZIP code City, state, and ZIP code

The rest of the envelope should be empty. Avoid gluing on glitter, stickers, or other decoration because it’s forbidden, and your letter might be rejected.

DoNotPay Helps You Stay Connected With Your Incarcerated Friends and Family Members

If you’re worried about making a mistake while sending a letter, you can rely on DoNotPay. We strive to make written communication with your incarcerated loved ones simple and convenient, which allows you to focus on writing the best possible letter to your friend, family member, or prison pen pals.

Our handy tool can help you:

  • Write to prisoners worry-free
  • Receive letters from prison inmates through your virtual mailbox
  • Locate inmates all over the U.S. in a few clicks

How To Write an Inmate With DoNotPay

To send your letters to prisoners with our help, follow these steps:

  1. Access your account from a web browser
  2. Click on our Connect With an Inmate tool
  3. Select Send a Personalized Letter
  4. Type in the inmate’s:
    • Name
    • Surname
    • ID or booking number
  5. Upload your message or write it in our app
  6. Attach a few photos 
  7. Select your preferred template to make your letter more personalized

DoNotPay will print the letter and send it on your behalf, sparing you the trouble of going to the post office whenever you want to write to a prisoner.

How To Receive Inmate Letters Online

Do you exchange letters with an inmate pen pal and don’t feel comfortable sharing your address? DoNotPay helps with that too!

Once you set up your virtual mailbox, you’ll receive all letters from inmates in digital form through our app. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Sign in to your DoNotPay account from a web browser
  2. Click on Connect With an Inmate
  3. Click on Virtual Mailbox 
  4. Choose Create My Mailbox 

DoNotPay will scan the letters and send them to your virtual mailbox. Check your mailbox whenever you want to see if you’ve received a letter.

How To Locate Inmates Fast and Easy

You can even use DoNotPay’s tool when you need to find the inmate in question, in case you lost the address or the offender has been transferred. 

Click on the Locate Someone option of the tool and type in the prisoner’s name and the state he/she is held in. DoNotPay will provide you with the latest location so that you can send your letters to the right address.

What Else Can I Send To Offenders?

Letters aren’t the only thing you can send to prisoners. You could occasionally send a care package, books, magazines, birthday and holiday cards. To ensure prison staff accepts your items, you should follow these inmate mail rules:

  • You can’t send more than three books at once
  • The books need to be sent only through Amazon and shipped by the USPS
  • You can’t send anything gang-related
  • Explicit magazines and pictures are forbidden and will be rejected
  • The books have to be softcover—hardcover and spiral-bound books are forbidden
  • You can’t send money or contraband

Is It Possible To Find Inmate Pen Pals?

Anyone can send letters to inmates—you don’t have to be related to them or even know them. If you’d like to write to a random inmate, you’re allowed to do so as long as you know their name, ID number, and the address of the facility they’re in. 

Numerous websites list inmates interested in finding pen pals, featuring their photo, full name, and other info you need when sending a letter. It’s usually their family or friends that list their accounts since prisoners don’t have internet access.

Some of the most popular websites are:

  1. Write a Prisoner
  2. Prison Pen Pals
  3. Meet an Inmate
  4. Caged Ladies
  5. Inmate Classified

Choose the inmate you like, write down their address, and compose a nice letter to make their day. Be careful about the information you share with your inmate pen pals because there’s always a chance that they are dangerous.

Avoid writing too many personal details and don’t provide the inmates with your home address. You can sign up for a P.O. box and use that address to protect your privacy.

Can I Call Prisoners?

Prisoners can’t receive incoming phone calls—your incarcerated loved one can only call you. Inmates should provide a list with numbers they plan on calling, and the list can be updated anytime.

In some states, such as Texas, friends and family members of offenders need to register their phone numbers online to be able to receive calls.

Inmates usually have access to phones during the entire day, but there’s a time limit of 20 minutes per phone call. 

What Other Tools Does DoNotPay Offer?

Besides making your correspondence with inmates fun, enjoyable, and hassle-free, DoNotPay can also make your other issues easy to solve. 

You won’t have to worry about complex administrative conundrums because we can assist you in managing all of them. Open your DoNotPay account in a web browser, and we will help you: