11 million people cycle through the American jail system each year. That means one out of every three people that get locked up today are at a local jail. If you want to send your inmate postcards, first know you are not alone.
More than 94% of the prison population will eventually be released from prison and return to our communities. How do you foster your relationship with your incarcerated family member or friend until then? It can be frustrating to figure out the system during this stressful time, but you want to be supportive of your imprisoned family member or friend.
Every county jail has its own set of rules, but the most commonly excepted, surefire way to get your letter past the man is sending a postcard. Read on for tips to write your inmate postcards that get approved quickly and are still special.
The USA has the largest prison population worldwide and numbers are constantly increasing. In 1980 there were 500,000 prisoners, in 2000 already 2 million. Currently over 2,400,000 people are held in American prisons.
Letters are no reliable way of communication
If one of your relatives is sentenced and torn out of their usual environment, it is especially important to stay in contact. But naturally the distance between prison and home town can pose a problem.
Therefore many relatives use a traditional way of communication to stay in touch: sending letters. However, unfortunately there is a high risk that your handwritten words will never reach the recipient. This is due to restrictions for communication between prisoners and the outside world, which are particularly strict in the USA. Letters are always opened for security reasons and often damaged in the course of the controls. This might result in disappointment for both the sender and the recipient.
MyPostcard postcards as solution
The advantage of sending postcards is that they are usually delivered without any controls. With MyPostcard you can even personalize your postcards and add your own photos. That’s a perfect solution to sending personal photos without the hassle you have with letters. Hence it is an easy way to make imprisoned friends or relatives especially happy. Just send your family picture or sexy selfie and get it delivered straight to the imprisoned recipient.
You may take a new image, in-app, with your phone, or use a preexisting image or selfie from your gallery or Instagram. I personally like that you can write your text online (choosing from 4 fonts) and it will be written nice and neat for the recipient to read.
The final step is to include the address for your inmate. And the best part is that you can create a profile to save the address for a one-click experience in the future.
And if all of this sounded too good to be true, get this, it starts as low as $1.99. You can’t even buy a regular postcard for that cheap let alone have it personalized and include postage. You can also use PayPal to purchase your postcards.
What Not to Do When Sending an Inmate Postcards
First, I need to preface that every jail may have different restrictions–even for postcards. Please be sure to visit the jail website to double check before sending your inmate postcards.
Photographs are allowed but under certain restrictions. Some jails only allow you to send photos as the graphic side of a postcard. I can understand that you want your man to remember what he is missing out on, but nudity is restricted.
Additions taped or glued to your postcard are restricted. I know it can be tempting to add something cute but do not place any labels or stickers on your inmate postcards.
Gang symbols or references are strictly prohibited. Any mention of weapons or violence will get your mail confiscated. And even though you think you want to show support from your crew don’t mention anything gang related–especially if it refers to any form of retaliation.
Other restricted written content in your inmate postcards. Beyond gang references and violence there are more topics you will want to avoid. Any form of supremacy writing or text that promotes hatred of a class or group of people.
Finally, most jails will not except postcards in languages besides English and Spanish. If you would like to write your family member or friend in another language, you will need previous approval to have it translated at the jail for content.
Suggested Things to Include in Your Inmate Postcards
I know it can be daunting to write that first postcard, but don’t over think it. Support is the first step toward recovery for addicts and criminals alike. Simply receiving a letter at all, regardless of the content, will mean a lot to most inmates.
Ask Lots of Questions
If you aren’t sure what to say starting with questions is an easy solution. Start by asking how he is doing, then feel free to ask any questions you may have about jail. You could ask what the food is like, or ask for a day-in-the-life breakdown. You may even want to ask if there is anything he would like. Some jails allow you to send a book or magazine, but once again check the jail website for restrictions.
Send pictures on your inmate postcards! Photographs are a very important tool for someone to take their mind of their environment. You may want to use a picture of the two of you together, or a picture of familiar scenery. Especially if the inmate has children, you will want to include pictures of them.
Try to stay positive in your writing. I know you may be hurt and frustrated, but if you want to be genuinely supportive try not to be judgmental on your inmate postcards. He already knows that he messed up.
Trust me, he has all day to think about it, and nothing else to occupy his mind.
You can begin by telling him how much you care about him. That you will miss him and that you are supporting him as much as you can. You may even want to talk about activities you would like to do with him when he is released (remember to keep it clean).
If it is only a quick ‘Hello’ or some emotional or longing words – these postcards mean the world to prisoners.