Prison pen pal websites are a boon and a curse. Prison pen pals can be quite fun and help the incarcerated community gain friendship.
This article contains a list of the 7 best websites for you to make a new friend, a pen pal, and get in touch with the outside world. These websites help you make friends, but it also helps reduce recidivism and help these inmates avoid total social exclusion and have better lives and a better future.
With these, you can write to both male and female prisoners. Although, these websites might have some negative sides. These might not be the best websites for kids or teenagers.
Teenagers with self-worth issues might end up in romantic connections with an inmate. But with some right guidance and choosing the right websites with posted profiles, only positive contacts and photos might not harm.
Let me explain in detail to you about these websites which help you make prison pen pals.
Honestly, these websites are worth checking out, and making some prison pen pals can be a very fun thing to do, something to cross off your bucket list of things to do at least once in your lifetime.
Who knows, a simple letter from you might make a person on death row with no family or friends happy, and they help them escape the constant mental torture they go through.
Before getting into the details about the prison pen pal websites, let me explain to you how prison pal websites work. So, a non-incarcerated writer gets to an inmate (currently incarcerated) who has paid to the website to be an inmate pen pal. Most prisoners pay to be part of this website, and their profiles are verified.
Research has found that male and female prisoners who maintain relations with pen pals tend to go out into the world, pursue education, and do well in society.
And they do not tend to go back into the same paths again and re-offend again, no matter what age they are of and what they have been through in life. Talking to some people can change your whole life around.
Another thing I should acknowledge before getting into this article should before getting into this article is how being imprisoned loved is frowned upon and considered bad by society; it still is a beautiful thing, and many people have found real romantic connections and new friendships through these websites.
7 Prison Pen Pal Websites:
This is one of the most verified websites to get yourself a prison pen pal. They give you options to choose the type of person you want to talk to, any age, race, or ethnicity, from anyone around the world.
It gives you the option to choose whether to have a male or female prisoner as your inmate pen pal.
In addition to providing pen pals to prisoners on being paid, they also offer many other kinds of help to the inmates. This might include offering the incarcerated community legal correspondence, research assistance, and employment and housing when released from prison.
Through this website, you can search through your options on who you want to talk to and get to know other information about them which has been made available to the public, e.g., the crime they have committed and their date of release.
It also lets you know the personal information about the person you are writing to, like their personal interests and hobbies. This website also gives you an option to meet your inmate pen pal after being released from prison.
This website mainly operates through postal mail (or snail mail as the internet likes to call it) or through systems like Corrlinks and JPay.
Inmates pay for their pen pal profiles. The income they generate by this gets contributed to their scholarships and other not-for-profit initiatives. One thing to note importantly about this website is that the inmates cannot reach their online at any cost; all they can do is write to the person they have chosen.
Writeaprisoner.com mostly has inmates from inside the United States and has people who have set up their profiles from county jails and other places outside the United States.
If there is an inmate not listed on the website, there is an inmate locator facility that helps you locate any prisoner in the US. The website also organizes a prison forum, in which non-incarcerated people can talk to the other board members of the website on very frequently asked questions or any question in general about this that you want to be answered. Your questions can vary from what to do when you meet an inmate to the queries you might have about death row.
Another important fact about the website is that you have to be 18 years old to have an inmate pen pal.
2. Meet an inmate.com:
This website is the number one website to have a prison pen pal on and meet an inmate, as the website’s name quite subtly suggests.
It has been up and operating since 1998. This website’s tagline and other factors might make it look like a scam, but the website is quite genuine.
Like the first website we talked about, this also focuses on helping male and female inmates find pen pals inside the United States of America. Their website has mainly encouraged people to write to the inmates to help the prisoners boost their confidence and develop positive contacts.
Their website has mentioned how to write letters to inmates properly, and they have tackled most problems people might have with writing to a prisoner.
They have mentioned that writing to a prisoner might be intimidating, but methods to tackle it. People can get personal ads from this website.
They encourage you to be very patient with these inmates and respond to them often. They also encourage you to write to more than one inmate at a time and to find your favorite pen pal out of the ones you talked to.
It focuses on the fact that these inmates are human beings too and should be treated with proper dignity and respect.
They are human beings who need new friends, find a family in most cases, and live with high hopes and dreams of getting out of prison. The prison system is cruel enough to them; why not be a society of compassionate human beings and help them out. We can never assume or even begin to understand the life inside for these people.
The website has its subscription package mentioned. Ranging from 35$ – 100$ per year for different types of packages that are willing to offer.
The website firmly believes that more traffic means that more and more people will start getting personal ads, and this will help the inmates get a pen pal faster, and more inmates get a chance to write to another person and create a beautiful friendship.
3. Wire Of Hope.com:
Alike our other two websites, this website too brings out the importance of prison correspondence. More than the importance, it talks about the power prison can have on an inmate’s life and how a single letter can change someone’s life so much that we can’t even imagine.
They focus on the point that incarcerated with pen pals are 6 times less likely to commit an offense again even after the first time they are released. This helps out society as a whole and can benefit everyone.
The site encourages people by telling them that writing to inmates is not just to help them but will also help reduce recidivism and fight against the prison system.
This site brings out a point no other prison pen pal website has, that is that writing to an inmate can help and benefit both sides, the incarcerated and the society as a whole. It focuses on helping the incarcerated community gain friendship.
Another difference this prison pen pal website has compared to others is that it does ask you to pay money; this site is an entirely free prison pen pal website.
4. Prison Pen Pals.com:
This is another free prison pen pal website, and it has been operating for almost 22 years and has been helping people connect to inmates and get a prison pen pal.
This site does not let you contact inmates unless and until you are 18 years of age.
But unlike most other websites, this website helps you get prison pen pals from all around the world; that is, it spreads over so many different countries on different continents.
This website enables you to talk to anyone from inmates incarcerated for 2 months to inmates on death row. They firmly believe in avoiding the total social exclusion of male and female prisoners.
This website works in a different way than the earlier ones had in this the incarcerated by choosing prison pen pals .com the prisoner can have their specialty ads which will help them find a pen pal.
This site has faced some problems when it comes to its specialty ads. There has been questioning about their methods of finding a pen pal and the credibility of their website.
The associates of this prison pen pal website strongly disagree with any allegations that have been put towards them and firmly believe that advertising can help these prisoners make a better impression on people and help them make new friends.
The credibility of this website is honestly a big question mark as long as the allegations are still up, but this sure helps the prisoners get their ads. And also helps them in finding pen pals. Overall, if you’re looking for a prison pen pal, this site can help you with it.
5. Do Not Pay.com:
As the name very evidently suggests, this is another free prison pen pal website that does not require you to pay money towards them.
Like every other website we have talked about so far, they also encourage you to write to the incarcerated and write to them regularly cause these inmates will have something to look forward to.
But the beauty of this website is that, unlike other sites, this site explains the pros and cons of having an inmate pen pal.
They ask you to take precautions regarding what you write in your letter, cause quite obviously some inmates can be very dangerous and sharing personal information with them might not be the best thing you can do.
They have also asked you not to mention your correspondence address in the snail mail you write to them. They recommend renting a P.o box just for this prison inmate and writing letters with that said address.
Cause we know quite well that sharing your address with a person who is being tried for being a serial killer is every person’s worst nightmare.
Their websites are free and contain information about all the inmates in the United States. You can choose from their listings the age, sex, or race of the person you would like to talk to.
Recently, the site introduced an exciting feature. The pain of writing a snail mail is too much, having to find the right envelope, the right stamp, and everything ideally just to get rejected for a mistake you did not even notice.
Donotpay.com makes it easier for you. If you log into their said platforms and write the letter online, the company will print the letter out and mail it to the inmate you want to send it to.
This is a fascinating factor I’ve noticed about this site because what best way to motivate people to get to do work is convincing that it is a lot less work than it used to be earlier.
I don’t know if it is some psychology trick that works, or just that people prefer to sit in front of their screens and not write in this digital time and era. Anywho, this appears to be kind of a revelation when it comes to prison pen pal websites.
The first thing I want to talk about this website is the name! The pun. Pen-a-con sure is one of the most brilliant puns I’ve heard. Now, moving on from my fascination for puns, let’s talk about what this website does.
Honestly, the website is not worth the hype I just gave for the name. It is quite lowkey and focuses on helping prison inmates find friendships and romantic connections.
They have a whole list of profiles that contain the images and many other personal or basic information about the incarcerated.
But the major con of this website is that it does not give you any vital information, it does not tell you if it is free, it does not give you a warning before starting to write to the inmates, and they do not explain the process in detail of having to write to a prison inmate and the things which come with having a prison pen pal.
When I call this website Low-key, it is because of the very little information the site has provided.
7. Prisoner correspondence project.com
Compared to all the other websites we have looked at so far, this one seems to be the most sophisticated or official, as you like to call it.
They mention to the people how the isolation you face in prison is worse than the actual sentence that has been given to them. This website puts forward their argument in a way that says that writing to an inmate is the first step to being kind towards the incarcerated community and fighting against the prison system.
It also contains reviews and things that actual inmates have said about the website and how receiving letters from people has encouraged and motivated them to live more and improve their lives.
In addition to all this, this website has something I have not seen on any other website so far. It contains a list of questions that the people writing to the inmates have most frequently asked. FAQS if you may. You can read this out properly before sending a letter to an inmate or meeting your inmate.
In addition to this, It also explains in detail the process and everything that comes with getting yourself a prison pen pal.
So, there you go, the 7 best prison pen pal websites. I would encourage you to give this a try. It’s intimidating and risky at times, but what is all that when you can help save a life.