How to write a good letter to a friend in jail

Your letters to an incarcerated pen pal or loved one can make a positive difference. Letters from the outside let inmates in correctional facilities and detention centers know others care and can help them keep in touch with the world outside the gray walls. To ensure your letter makes it to mail call, carefully follow the facility's rules regarding correspondence.

How to write a good letter to a friend in jail

Person standing behind bars The first time someone in my family was incarcerated, I was in grade school. Some people were incarcerated for being undocumented in the US. By the age of ten, I was ashamed to have family members in prison and refused to tell anyone. Because I was so fearful of the stigma that comes with incarceration, I refused to open up to anyone.

This debilitating fear of stigmatization created a cycle of silence and prevented me from accessing support from my own community. How do I support my community who has been incarcerated?

As an adult, however, I have realized that I grew up in a community that was constantly terrorized by the police.

how to write a good letter to a friend in jail

We were living in a constant state of anxietyviolence, and grief, and I struggled to actively be in solidarity and perform acts of allyship for incarcerated people in my life.

To this day, I still find myself stuck sometimes. You have a right to your confusion and frustration. You have the right to be angry. There are many ways in which we can support our friends, family, lovers, and mentors who are incarcerated. For me, showing up was a process, and it will continue to be a process until the prison system is abolished.

However, the following list includes some practical ways we can show up for those who have been incarcerated.

how to write a good letter to a friend in jail

Sending people money in prison is important because without money, it becomes incredibly difficult to get access to stamps, envelopes, or phone cards, which are all used for communication. Sometimes, a person in prison needs to send a lawyer a written statement. How else would the person do it without a phone card, or access to paper, stamps, and envelopes?

However, once I located all this information, it took less than five minutes to process the deposit. Answer Their Calls Did you know that if someone who is incarcerated is calling you, and you are able to answer without paying anything, it means that the inmate has paid with their own money for that call?

When I first began being present in the lives of community members who were incarcerated, I would always hesitate in answering calls. This means that I was making the situation about me and my discomfort to not have the right words as opposed to about the ways in which my community was oppressed by the prison industrial complex.

I had to let go of that discomfort — because the people calling me are human. They have experiences they want to share. They take pleasure in exchanging stories. The first time I wrote a letter to a friend, I sketched a photo, painted the photo, and mailed it out.

A week later, the letter was returned. Apparently, I had violated the rules by using a chemical formula that is most commonly known as paint from the Cent store. Before you write letters, make sure you visit the website of the facility where your family member, friend, mentor, or community member is housed.Jul 09,  · One good decision that you will never regret is to listen to those who care the most for you.

At the top of that list is your mother. She has been through many trials in her life, and has become a strong, competent, wise woman as the result of the thousands .

Dec 27,  · When you write an incarcerated individual, it is important to be clear about your reasons for writing the letter. If you are looking for friendship or to offer support you should state this in your letter. You should also state how often you will be able to correspond to the prisoner%().

Do not use glitter or markers when writing and preparing the letter. Do not send any type of cash, money or contraband in the letter or envelope. If you are unsure what to send, call the jail and ask for a list of rules and guidelines. The writing of this letter should be done in a precise and professional manner.

Speak with the defendant's defense attorney. He can suggest character traits to emphasize relevant to the defendant's charges. As for the mother thing. Send your friend a good happy letter, then wait days then send off another letter with your concerns to your friend and ask him if you can help (as in phone child protective services or other agencies).

Just keep in contact with your friend. Writing A Character Reference for Court. If you are asked to write a character reference letter to a court, the circumstances probably aren't the best. You likely know someone who is facing jail time, and who wants a judge to see character references so that the punishment might be less severe.

How to Write an Appropriate Letter to Someone in Jail or Prison