How To Write a Letter to Someone in Jail

If you know of someone who is in a jail or prison in the United States of America, you can contact them by mail.If the jail or prison accepts email on behalf of inmates, you can use email.You need to find the inmate’s mailing address and booking number on the jail or prison website to begin writing to them.Incoming mail will be opened, read, and inspected before it is delivered to the inmates.

Step 1: You can visit the jail website.

In jails, inmates who are awaiting trial or serving a sentence of no more than one year are housed.Prisons house inmates for more than a year.The website of the jail can be used to communicate with someone currently in jail.The jail’s physical address, inmate database, and mail policy can be found on jail websites.If you don’t know where the person you want to talk to is, you can use the jail’s online inmate database or call them.

Step 2: You can find the inmate’s booking number.

The name and booking number of the prisoner are required by some jails.If you want to send a piece of mail to the jail, you need to know the inmate’s booking number.

Step 3: The envelope should be addressed.

The address should be written on the outside of the envelope.Write the inmate’s name and booking number on the first line.Write the physical address of the jail on the second line.The jail accepts mail from inmates.Write the city, state, and zip code on the third line.

Step 4: Send your name and address.

Write your name and address in the top right corner of the envelope.Write your first and last name on the first line.Write your street address on the second line.Write your city, state, and zip code on the third line.The rest of the envelope should be kept clean.Some jails don’t allow stickers on envelopes because they can be used to hide drugs.Some jails will not accept an envelope that has a stain or smells of perfume or something similar.

Step 5: It’s important to not send confidential information.

Incoming and outgoing mail to and from the jail is subject to search.You don’t want the jail staff to read your information.Since the mail is not privileged or confidential, this includes information related to the inmate’s legal representation.Most topics are acceptable to write about.If you are comfortable with jail officials reading the letter, you can write a romantic or sexual letter.Don’t write about illegal activities or investigations related to the case.The topics could get you in trouble.

Step 6: Don’t send items that are forbidden.

There is a list of items that will not be accepted in the mail.The rules are intended to keep the jail safe.Food and candy; items with crayon, gel-ink, glue, or white-out; Cash and checks; Sexually suggestive or gang-related pictures; and Hardback and leather-bound books are commonly prohibited.

Step 7: You can mail your envelope.

Send your envelope the same way you would if you deposited it in the mail.If your delivery is refused, do not use a delivery service.The weight of the envelope should be included in the postage amount.

Step 8: Send an email.

Instructions for sending email to an inmates may be contained in the jail website.Clicking on an email icon can be used to locate the inmate’s name within the database.Unless the jail provides computer and internet access to inmates, email will not be received in an electronic form.On the next day, jail staff will print the message, read it, and deliver it to the prisoner.The prisoner won’t be able to email you back, he or she will have to reply with a letter of his or her own.There are rules about email.You may be asked to limit your correspondence to two messages a day.The messages must be no more than a single page in length.

Step 9: You can visit the website.

If you want to communicate with a person in prison, you should visit the prison’s website to find the address where they accept mail, an inmates database, and a mail policy.When searching for a prison website, you might want to look for the state’s Department ofCorrections, which is located in the same building as the regional facility where the prisoner lives.

Step 10: You can find the inmate’s number by looking up it.

The name and number of the prisoner are required by some prisons.If you want to send a piece of mail to the prison, you should be able to locate the prisoner’s number by using the inmate database.The “ADC” number is used for the Arizona Department ofCorrections.

Step 11: The envelope needs to be addressed.

The address should be written on the outside of the envelope.Write the inmate’s name and number on the first line.Write the physical address of the prison on the second line.The prison accepts mail from inmates.Write the city, state, and zip code on the third line.

Step 12: Send your name and address.

Write your name and address in the top right corner of the envelope.Write your first and last name on the first line.Write your street address on the second line.Write your city, state, and zip code on the third line.The rest of the envelope should be kept clean.Some prisons don’t allow stickers on envelopes because they can be used to hide drugs.The smell of perfume, cologne, or some other substance will not be accepted by other prisons.

Step 13: It’s important to not send confidential information.

Incoming and outgoing mail to and from the prison must be opened and read.Inform the prison staff that you don’t want them to read it.The mail is not privileged or confidential and includes information about the prisoner’s legal representation.Most topics are acceptable to write about.If you are comfortable with prison officials reading the letter, you can write a romantic or sexual letter.Don’t write about illegal activities or investigations related to the case.The topics could get you in trouble.

Step 14: Don’t send items that are forbidden.

There is a list of items that will not be accepted in the mail.The purpose of the rules is to maintain safety in the prison.Food and candy; cash and checks; and sexually suggestive or gang-related pictures and books are commonly prohibited.

Step 15: You can mail your envelope.

Send your envelope the same way you would if you deposited it in the mail.Before sending a package through a delivery service, make sure that the prison will accept deliveries other than through the regular U.S. Post Office.

Step 16: Send an email.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons provides email access to inmates through a program called CorrLinks.Once you give your email address to the prisoner, he or she can place you on his or her contact list, which is reviewed and approved by prison staff.Wait for an email from CorrLinks.You will receive a message from CorrLinks once you are approved on the inmate’s contact list.You will be asked if you want to accept or block future messages.You should indicate if you want to keep accepting messages.You will be able to communicate with the prisoner.

Step 17: You can use an online service.

There are websites that match inmates with pen pals outside.These sites feature profiles written and posted by inmates who are looking for friendship, romance, or legal advice.There are many sites where you can find pen pals for inmates.

Step 18: Put a PO Box in it.

If you want to use the box instead of your return address, reserve it at your local post office.It’s not safe to give someone your home address when you’re writing to them.You can keep your home address confidential by using a PO Box.

Step 19: First, send a greeting card.

A greeting card can be a good way to get to know someone.Birthday cards can be sent to an inmate who has a birthday coming up.The note should say that you are looking for a pen pal.You can invite the recipient to write to you at your PO Box address.