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Introductions & Stories Discuss Hello, I'm new to this site and letter writing in general in the Non-Prison Related Issues forums; Hello, I am new to this site, and not surprisingly in this day and age, letter writing. But I have ...
  1. #1
    Thetford is offline Junior Member
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    Default Hello, I'm new to this site and letter writing in general

    Hello, I am new to this site, and not surprisingly in this day and age, letter writing. But I have a few questions, I hope somebody can answer.

    I am from the UK, and I have never done international mail before, so I was wondering, how do I address an envelope, in regards to layout? Do I do it the UK way and have every detail on a separate line?

    Also, in many of the addresses given on ads, they use initials as opposed to the full name of the facility, does it matter if I use the format given (eg, S.P instead of State Penitentiary, S Main St instead of South Main Street etc), I heard some prisons can be really pedantic.

    Do I put the return address on the envelope in addition to the letter, and where and in what format do I write it? Do I put it on the front?

    Which stamps do I use for sending international mail? A colleague of mine says she sends a Christmas card every year to Australia with only just two regular first class stamps affixed.

    Are there any general rules about mailing letters to American prisons I should be aware of before sending (i.e. addressing, content, photographs etc)?

    What is the average response for sending mail and receiving a reply from the UK to Texas?

    Are there any tips to general writing to an inmate?

    Thank you,
    WestonFromFla likes this.

  2. #2
    Silas Sydenham's Avatar
    Silas Sydenham is offline Super Member Proud Donor
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    Default Re: Hello, I'm new to this site and letter writing in general


    There are many on this forum from the UK who can answer your questions in detail.

    I have found from experience, that addressing letters as we do in the UK and Australia is fine; it is sensible to write out all words in full, rather than use abbreviations; and that the return address is best put in the top left-hand corner of the front of the envelope.

    Individual prisons differ wildly on what you can include with your letter, how many pages, how many photo's, etc., but you can usually find that out on the prison's website.

    I wish you well as you embark on this adventure.
    WARATAH !

  3. #3
    drinkwater Guest

    Default Re: Hello, I'm new to this site and letter writing in general

    Quote Originally Posted by Thetford View Post
    Hello, I am new to this site, and not surprisingly in this day and age, letter writing. But I have a few questions, I hope somebody can answer.

    I am from the UK, and I have never done international mail before, so I was wondering, how do I address an envelope, in regards to layout? Do I do it the UK way and have every detail on a separate line?

    Also, in many of the addresses given on ads, they use initials as opposed to the full name of the facility, does it matter if I use the format given (eg, S.P instead of State Penitentiary, S Main St instead of South Main Street etc), I heard some prisons can be really pedantic.

    Do I put the return address on the envelope in addition to the letter, and where and in what format do I write it? Do I put it on the front?

    Which stamps do I use for sending international mail? A colleague of mine says she sends a Christmas card every year to Australia with only just two regular first class stamps affixed.

    Are there any general rules about mailing letters to American prisons I should be aware of before sending (i.e. addressing, content, photographs etc)?

    What is the average response for sending mail and receiving a reply from the UK to Texas?

    Are there any tips to general writing to an inmate?

    Thank you,
    Hey there, welcome to this site. You don't know it yet, but this is going to be one amazing ride Okay, so lets get down to letter writing.

    1) You address the envelope how it says on the profile, or you could go to the DOC website and look to see how they want incoming mail addressed. But the regualr UK way should be fine. ITs not really all that different.

    2) Maybe best to use the full address. That way there is less chance of it being returned.

    3) Stamps, well you could either take it to the post office and weigh it out. This is quite expensive or you could stick a couple of 1st class stamps and a few seconds and hope for the best.

    3) Generally, no stickers, no glitter, dont stick anything on yourself. Most prisons do not allow full nude photos, no tattoo designs, no gang signs, no drug pictures. There could also be a limitation on the number of pictures you send. Best thing to do is to look at the Texas DOC or...I think they call it TDCJ.

    4) Not sure about Texas, but it can vary. My pp is in Arizona can be anywhere from 4-9 days.

    General tips? Be yourself. Talk about things you like, dislike, ask about THEM and then maybe ease into the prison stuff. Remember, he/she is just a regular person like us, so there are no tip per se about writing to an inmate.

  4. #4
    MoxieBravo is offline Not Active
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    Default Re: Hello, I'm new to this site and letter writing in general

    Everything has been said.

    Texas prison mail depends on the prison, inmate's security level and other things.

    Also, you can abbreviate. Write the address as they have on their profile.

    I mean, think about it. If you're writing to someone in federal prison up in Terre Haute, you'll address it "USP Terre Haute," not write out "United States Penitentiary Terre Haute."
    RaineDancer likes this.

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    Default Re: Hello, I'm new to this site and letter writing in general

    Welcome

    Just on the address issue... I agree with Moxie. I wrote the full address one time and my PP wrote back and said it wasn't necessary to do that. So I literally wrote it as it was on the profile and I haven't had any problems at all with mail not reaching him (in Texas).

    I wish you all the best with writing to your new PP's.

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    Default Re: Hello, I'm new to this site and letter writing in general

    You have gotten lots of good advice, Thetford, and I would only add to what Silas posted about the number of pages in your letters. I used to write to a lady in the state of Virginia, who could only receive 5 pages in her letters. So, that is good to know. But, ask your perspective PP, in your introductory letter, about any restrictions, and they will fill you in, I'm sure.

    Other than that I would only say what others have said . . relax and be yourself. These people are in prison and chances are that they might not be highly educated. They only want to hear from YOU . . from someone on the outside, and they are not highly critical. You might want to make a list of topics that you want to write about, before you start. Then, make yourself comfortable and let the juices flow. Try to envision an immage of this new friend and talk to them, with your pen, just like you would any of your good friends. I can almost promise that they are going to love your letter and you are going to dance a wild dance when you get your first reply. Happy Writing! :-)
    Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly.
    Cowards are cruel, but the brave love mercy.
    "The purpose of life is to contribute, in some way, to making things better" Robert F. Kennedy

  7. #7
    Franconia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello, I'm new to this site and letter writing in general

    and happy writing!
    Don't confuse your path with your destination. Just because it's stormy now doesn't mean you aren't headed for sunshine.



    Newspaper headline: Optimist Drowns in Half-full Tub.(American Dad)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDShpKtIhZs

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    Thetford is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Hello, I'm new to this site and letter writing in general

    Thanks for the advice guys!

    I sent it too. After introducing myself, I decided to respond to his ad point by point, as in, he stated he was writing a book, so I talked a little bit about writing. I just found the idea of asking him things directly in the first letter a bit impertinent on my part. Though, I have bad handwriting, and at times it looks a bit childlike.

    I just have a few fears: did I address it right? Was it the correct stamp? Did I include the picture or the letter? Unfounded, I know, as they are all correct, I checked multiple times. It's just one of those niggles, like I keep worrying I haven't locked the door, despite that I know I did. I hope I'm making sense.

    The a big fear, and a founded one, is that he doesn't respond.

    Would you advise writing to multiple people?

  9. #9
    Silas Sydenham's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello, I'm new to this site and letter writing in general

    I currently write to twelve guys.
    One guy daily by email via corrlinks.
    One guy at least weekly via an email-to-snailmail service.
    The rest by snailmail, letter for letter, so it could be fortnightly, monthly or thereabouts.

    Maybe see how your first guy turns out, and if you have the time and the inclination, add others over time. It is a big committment.
    WARATAH !

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hello, I'm new to this site and letter writing in general



    How many you write depends on how much time you have on your hands. I write to my man and 3 pp's, and that is enough for me. No, make that 4, LOL, I recently wrote one more. Kinda slipped my mind.

    Anyways, writing letters is no science. Relax, be yourself. Write about what interests you, and if your interests match - that is perfect. That is what makes a lasting friendship.

    Happy writing!!
    When I'm good, I'm very good. But when I'm bad I'm better. Mae West

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