Pen Pals

TX prisoners in need of pen pals:

While we do not intend to become a pen pal service, we do encourage pen pal relationships. In order to be fair to the person you are writing and to prevent misunderstandings or hurt feelings, we recommend you research any incarcerated person and their charges to make sure you are comfortable before deciding to write them, and that you always be clear about your boundaries and your expectations of the relationship. Reaching out to an incarcerated person can be a positive, life-changing experience for both people involved. Please see the links below for organizations that connect incarcerated people with pen pals!


Important Note: TDCJ changed mail regulations beginning 3/1/20.

The full changes are as follows:

  • Offenders will only be allowed to receive mail from general correspondents on standard white paper. Mail received on colored, decorated, card stock, construction, linen, or cotton paper will be denied.
  • Letters sent to offenders may not contain uninspectable substances such as perfume, stickers, lipstick, bodily fluid, powdery substances or artwork using paint, glitter, glue, or tape.
  • Offenders may not receive greeting cards of any kind.
  • There is no restriction on the length of incoming or outgoing correspondence; however, a limit of 10 photos will be allowed per envelope.

To verify someone’s current unit, enter name or tdcj # here: https://offender.tdcj.texas.gov/OffenderSearch/index.jsp

TDCJ unit addresses and phone numbers: https://www.tdcj.texas.gov/unit_directory/unit_information.html

Want to send a letter by “email”? Jpay.com offers this service and Jmail.cc offers sending letters and an option to receive letters electronically scanned in. These services may cost more than regular mail. Make sure you give a return address in the letter! State prisoners do not have computer access.

Partner org:

Abolition Apostles is based in Louisiana and Texas and they correspond with over 1,000 incarcerated people currently. They are always looking to connect people! Find out more here: https://www.abolitionapostles.com/become-a-penpal

LGBTQ & Allies:

Trans Pride Initiative in Dallas is searching for people willing to write incarcerated trans and queer people. Connect on Facebook to help or email nell@tpride.org

https://www.facebook.com/transprideinitiative

See a list of Queer and Trans pen pals ads here from Austin ABC: https://txqtprisoners.wordpress.com/pen-pals/

blackandpink.org is a national organization supporting LGBTQ+ people in prisons

Note: Please note the sensitive nature of sexuality and gender identity inside of US Prisons. Being outed could result in threats and attacks from other prisoners, and repression from prison officials.  It is best to let the person you write direct you on what is safe for them to discuss. That being said, our prisons are violently homophobic and transphobic and that is why LGBTQ prisoners especially could use outside support, which is often lacking from family members. Here are a few more Texas Prisoners you may choose to connect with (use links above to verify unit and unit address). Envelopes must be addressed with legal names, but letters should use chosen names.

More pen pal sites:

www.writeaprisoner.com

https://www.meet-an-inmate.com/

Political Prisoners: NYC Anarchist Black Cross Listing