Just under 1% of the US population is incarcerated. That means that millions of people are currently in jail or prison and millions more are trying to reach them.
If you want to contact a prison inmate, you have a few options. Restrictions and intake aside, inmates can receive mail and make phone calls.
How can you make sure this process moves forward? What should you know about sending mail or receiving a call from a friend or loved one in prison?
Read on for this quick guide to getting in touch with someone on the inside.
Locating a Prison Inmate
First, you need to know where the inmate you want to contact is being held. Fortunately, it’s not as hard as you may think. Go here for inmate search options and get the location and mailing address of your friend or loved one.
Sending Mail to a Prison Inmate
Once you have the mailing address of a prison inmate, we highly recommend sending letters. Incarcerated people don’t always have ready access to communication with loved ones, and letters are great ways to express love and care.
There are a few things you should know about sending letters to inmates. General guidelines are as follows:
- Don’t use staples or paperclips and write in pencil, blue ink, or black ink; no marker, crayon, stickers, or glue
- Don’t spray the letter with perfume or other fragrances
- Don’t include doodles, as this may be considered “code,” and your letter may not reach your friend or loved one
- Remember that your letters are screened; don’t include anything you wouldn’t want someone else to read
- Don’t send photos that are larger than 4″ x 6″
- Up to three new, softcover books are permissible
If your mail is returned to you, you should receive an explanation as to why. Chances are, it’s a small violation that is easy to remedy.
Receiving a Phone Call From a Prison Inmate
Prison inmates can’t receive phone calls from the outside. Instead, you must wait to receive phone calls from them.
If a prison relies on collect calls, you will need to provide a landline phone number. Cell phones cannot receive collect calls. If a prison relies on prepaid phone plans, your cell phone number may work.
Most prisons require inmates to make calls from an approved list of phone numbers. If your number isn’t on that list, you likely won’t receive calls from your friend or loved one. They may not know your phone number by heart and you may send it in your next letter.
Contact an Inmate By Following Our Guide
Are you trying to reach a prison inmate via mail or phone? Use our guide to make sure that you’re following the rules and guidelines so that your communication goes through.
Are you looking for more ways to live life to the fullest with the ones you love? Take a look around for guides, tips, and information that will help you achieve your goals and dreams.