The Missing Link, Linking Troubled Youth & Adults with Life-Changing Programs

Tips To Use When Writing Inmates

Monkey shaking his head. No. No.

DOs and DON'Ts

  1. Do keep your letters Christ-centered.
  2. If married, do minister as a couple. Encourage your spouse to write a portion of each letter. However, it is best for females to write females and males to write males, but if this is not possible, you write the letter for your spouse and see that your spouse signs the letter.
  3. Do share scriptures.
  4. Do encourage inmates to pray for your needs and share when God answers.
  5. Don't send money.
  6. Don't get involved with problems of a personal nature.
  7. Don't send tapes, books or any material until you find out the rules and regulations of the
  8. Don't send stamps.
  9. We do not recommend sending pictures of females to inmates.

(I just love that little animated chimpanzee, don't you? It was created by Franz Neumeier.)

More help...

Writing a prisoner is a very serious matter. It is like a lifeline being thrown out to a sinking person. Once correspondence has been started, we cannot break it off, unless it is by the request of the prisoner. If an inmate is released or transferred to another prison, your letter will come back. If you don't get a response from the inmate, it is important to keep writing and praying for him. Many inmates go through periods of deep despair and depression that only being behind bars can bring. Please be understanding. Don't forget him now when he needs someone the most. You may be his last hope. If you fail him, he may never come to know the Lord. Be patient and try putting yourself in his situation.


Be honest and tell him from the start your main purpose in writing is to help him spiritually and if he doesn't have a personal relationship with Christ or doesn't even know what in the world a personal relationship is, to let you know, and that you'll be glad to share with him the dearest friendship one can ever have.


Persist in showing him God's love. He will soon realize your sincerity. Ask him thought-provoking questions to determine where he stands in his knowledge of God. See if he reads the Bible and prays every day. Needle him to level with you so you can really help him.


Tell the inmate it really doesn't matter to you why he's in prison. Tell him God still loves him with an unconditional love. Regardless of what he's done, Jesus still loves him and always will. You can enclose helpful Christian tracts and pamphlets. The inmate has nothing but time on his hands and is glad for something to read. You would be amazed to know how many times he reads your letter over and over again, so please pray for wisdom before you write him. God will guide you in your choice of words and drop Scriptures into your heart that will minister directly to the inmate's deepest needs.


Be sure the inmate has a Bible. We can send him one if he doesn't. Just let us know. [IMPORTANT: We must have the prisoner's complete address, including his identification number in order to assure delivery. A small offering to cover the cost of the Bible and shipping would really help.]


We do not recommend sending pictures of females to inmates. Just stop to think about their situation for a minute. These men are incarcerated - separated from society, separated from women - with nothing but time on their hands. The majority of them spend their time dwelling on wrong thoughts.


We have found from past experience that pictures of females only create fantasies in the mind of inmates and hinder the writer's goal toward spiritual birth and growth.


It is best to withhold your home address for your own security. It is best to use a post office box number. Find someone with a church or business box number that you can use. Mail regulations can be obtained by writing the Department of Social Services at the inmate's address. Have some more tips to share with us?

If you have some additional tips to share with us, please e-mail us.


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Last updated December 11, 2020

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