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Thread: First Letter: Some Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Germany
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    Question First Letter: Some Questions

    Hi there!

    Since I'm new on the forum, I wanted to ask you some questions regarding the first letter before writing my first email.

    1) Since I'm living in Europe, I have some doubts whether inmates I write to will have the ressources to reply to my letters. Even if they're willing to correspond overseas, I wonder if they really have the money to pay for stamps?

    2) So here comes question two. Is it possible to send, together with the letter, stamps to the prisoneer? Stamps he/she can use to write back? I suspect that depends heavily on the different prison rules.

    3) I do have some ideas what to write in my first letter, but I doubt this is really the best way to open a correspondence. Does someone of you have an example for a good first letter?

    Please excuse my maybe a bit naive questions. and many thanks in advance for your helpful answers!

    Best wishes

    LawRat

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    usa
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    gooddog's: Inspired

    Default Re: First Letter: Some Questions

    Look on the inmate ads. There is a box they can check if they are willing to write overseas. This isn't set in stone that if they check the box they will be able to sustain writing overseas but there's a chance they may be able to if they check that box. Not all inmates are destitute, some can afford it.

    I know that some states or prisons do allow stamps sent but this is NOT the majority. Ask your pp about this he/she will know what you can send. Or, you can look it up in that state's DOC rules. Don't just arbitrarily send stamps, most likely they will not be allowed. I once stupidly sent stamps (a long time ago) and caused some trouble without meaning to.

    As far as what to write in a first letter, keep it simple, a little about you, one page for an intro letter is good.

    DO NOT send money or offer to send money in the first letter! You don't ever have to send money, that is NOT part of it. Later, if you become friends and you want to give a gift you can think about that but to start only send a letter. Hopefully you will find someone who appreciates that for what it is!

    If you write to someone on Jpay you can send them a reply stamp so that they can answer you. Not every prison has Jpay or the capability to write back to you on Jpay.

    good luck!


    SWAT Officer Daryl Hudeck also rescued two small puppies from flood water on Sunday.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Germany
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    Default Re: First Letter: Some Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by gooddog View Post
    Look on the inmate ads. There is a box they can check if they are willing to write overseas. This isn't set in stone that if they check the box they will be able to sustain writing overseas but there's a chance they may be able to if they check that box. Not all inmates are destitute, some can afford it.

    I know that some states or prisons do allow stamps sent but this is NOT the majority. Ask your pp about this he/she will know what you can send. Or, you can look it up in that state's DOC rules. Don't just arbitrarily send stamps, most likely they will not be allowed. I once stupidly sent stamps (a long time ago) and caused some trouble without meaning to.

    As far as what to write in a first letter, keep it simple, a little about you, one page for an intro letter is good.

    DO NOT send money or offer to send money in the first letter! You don't ever have to send money, that is NOT part of it. Later, if you become friends and you want to give a gift you can think about that but to start only send a letter. Hopefully you will find someone who appreciates that for what it is!

    If you write to someone on Jpay you can send them a reply stamp so that they can answer you. Not every prison has Jpay or the capability to write back to you on Jpay.

    good luck!
    Thank you very much for your helpful answer. One additional question: on this board, members talk about Jpay a lot. Is using Jpay a must or just a nice option?

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    DanPal's: Vegged Out

    Default Re: First Letter: Some Questions

    JPay is just an option available to some inmates. It's not a must for you to use it.
    And, like gooddog says, only some inmates are able to respond digitally. Others will receive your JPay as a printout and will respond by snail mail.
    "Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow!" ~ Norman Vincent Peale

    ''The road back home is never too long'' ~ Amish proverb















  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    USA/Texas
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    Default Re: First Letter: Some Questions

    According to the Texas Offenders (Inmate) handbook.......sending stamps, postage, money orders and checks is treated as countraband and will be confiscated and a repeat and you will be off his/her mail list......check your inmates state handbook .......just my 2 cents worth.....

  6. #6
    DAI Guest

    Default Re: First Letter: Some Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jakob1944 View Post
    According to the Texas Offenders (Inmate) handbook[...]
    It's always good to check the rules for the State in which your PP is incarcerated since they all vary. There are some where you need to transfer money in order to gift it, others where you can enclose a check or money order in a letter and the mail room staff will take it out and have it credited. There is no hard and fast rule across the entire country, and even some prisons within a State vary one with another depending on their status.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Moonlampje's: Artistic

    Default Re: First Letter: Some Questions

    I know that people in florida prison can get stamped envelopes, I send them to my florida boy all the time. (Until I have no more that is )

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    USA
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    Default Re: First Letter: Some Questions

    I have a pen pal in Florida. I send stamps from time to time. Two things.

    1. If you would like to keep your pen pal in Florida, NEVER mention that you found them on a prison pen pal site. Florida is one of those states that forbids pen pals.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011...n-pal-ads.html

    2. As far as stamps. Per the website:

    U.S. postage stamps. The value of the stamps cannot exceed the equivalent of 20 (1 oz.) First class stamps. These items do not count toward the 15 page limitation for additional materials.

    I usually send a half a book of stamps and she is very grateful.

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