Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions we get about writing to someone on the inside
Yes. All you have to do is “Click” on the “Create/Edit A Profile” tab located on the “Home Page”. Fill out the application as instructed and include any Upgrades, such as Videograms, Extra Photos, etc… You can then pay for their membership using our easy payment system.
Yes. We are currently using PayPal and Cash App for an easy and fast check out experience. Both are secure online banking platforms.
Yes. Our members can request to cancel their membership at any time. However, this can not be done from the website, the member must submit the request in writing through the US Postal Mail or email. Once we verify their request, the profile will be removed immediately; however, their videos, blogs, artwork, etc… may still be used for promotional purposes. Please read our Terms of Service for more information.
No. Once a profile is submitted and processed we don’t give any refunds. There are administrative costs and other expenses that prevent us from doing it.
Using the member’s institutional email service. This varies from State to State. Every member has a link on their Profile Page directing you to their specific email provider so you can set up an account to send them an email.
Writing A Snail Mail Letter Can Take A Long Time Depending On Where You Live And The Mailing System At The Prison. Using Their Institutional Email Is The Most Efficient Way, But The Rules Pertaining To Those Services Vary From State To State.
Federal Prisons Use CorrLinks
There Are Also Different Rules To What You Are Allowed To Send Depending On What State Your Pen Pal Is In. We Recommend That You Read The Information On The Institution’s Website If You Want To Be Sure About What You Are Allowed To Send Or Not.
First, you have to set up an account with their institutional email service. There are several different companies that provide paid email services to our members, such as JPay.com, GTL/ConnectNetwork.com and Corrlinks (which is used mostly for Federal Prisoners). Secondly, you’ll need to purchase “email stamps” which cost around 20¢-30¢ each, but are usually bought in bundles of 15 or more. We understand that people have a problem paying for email services that are “free” to those on the outside; unfortunately, the prison system in the States is all about money and this financial burden comes at the expense of all those incarcerated and their family and friends.
Yes. This is a multiple step process. The first step, usually, is you providing your pen pal with a phone number that they must put into their institutional phone system. If you live overseas, you must get a local US phone number. This can be done using a VOIP service. Once the prisoner puts your phone number into their institutional phone system, they will have 2 options on how to pay for the calls: Collect or Debit. The difference being with Collect Calls you will pay for the call, but you have to set up an account with the phone provider they use. With Debit Calls they pay for the call out of their phone account.
Costs Vary From State To State… Institution To Institution For Many Different Reasons. However, The Main Determinant Of Cost Is Whether You Have A Local Number For Your Pen Pal To Call.
This is primarily done through VOIP companies, such as Skype, Talkatone, Google Voice, Call Centric, etc… The cost varies by company. Most are paid monthly or every three months, such as Skype. Some offer phone numbers for FREE, such as Talkatone and Google Voice; however, there are limitations on how many “free” calls you can make before you have to pay for your local number.
Yes. The process varies from State to State. Usually, it is as simple as getting onto their visitation list. This is accomplished by filling out a Visitor Application either by snail mail or online. Your pen pal will be able to provide you with more specific information about this process or you can contact your pen pal’s institution directly.
Yes. Once again this varies from State to State and at times institution to institution. Most of the time you will be required to be on their Visitation List. If you live overseas, this could be a problem for the same reason as trying to purchase email stamps. In most cases, the same companies are used to deposit funds in their personal accounts. JPay.com, GTL/ConnectNetwork.com and Corrlinks DO NOT accept overseas credit cards in most cases. There are several Facebook Groups that address this and other related issues. Visit us on Facebook at PrisonFriendship.com or on Instagram at PrisonFriendshipllc for more information about this or other questions.
Though We Advise That You Establish A Healthy Relationship With Your New Friend Before You Start Sending Them Money And/ Or Gifts.
We have found this is a common problem for those living internationally. The institutional email providers such as JPay.com, GTL/ConnectNetwork.com and Corrlinks DO NOT accept overseas credit cards in most cases. This is usually due to their system not recognizing international zip codes with more than 5 numbers when you have to submit your personal info. There are several Facebook Groups that address this specific problem and have some possible solutions. Visit us on Facebook at PrisonFriendship.com or on Instagram at PrisonFriendshipllc for more information. You can also send us an email at: email@example.com
Please be patient. There are many reasons why your pen pal hasn’t replied yet. Most of the time it’s because of the screening process the incoming emails go through which could take several hours or up to a couple of days. Also, their kiosk could be temporarily offline or malfunctioning, they could be on lockdown, etc… It has been our experience that our members will respond almost 100% of the time.
** I USED THE PF MESSAGING TO SEND MY 1ST EMAIL TO MY PEN PAL, BUT I HAVEN'T RECEIVED A REPLY. WHY IS IT TAKING SO LONG?
We get a lot of PF Messages which are processed and sent out WEEKLY either by email or regular postal mail. Due to normal delays in postal delivery or the email screening process it could take up to a week or two. Please be patient & give them time to reply
We accept payment via Cash app: $PFpenpal or through PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org. Your LO can also send us an institutional check or money order.
If you want to add pictures to an profile, you can send them to our email: email@example.com
WE AT PRISONFRIENDSHIP WANT TO THANK YOU FOR REACHING OUT TO THOSE WOMEN AND MEN INCARCERATED. THE SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT YOU GIVE MAKES A DIFFERENCE; NOT JUST IN THEIR LIFE, BUT IN YOURS TOO. BE PART OF THE SOLUTION! NEVER FORGET THAT IF YOU CHANGE A LIFE... YOU CHANGE THE WORLD.
We know that navigating the prison system can be complicated, so we welcome any questions you may have. for additional information on how to correspond with someone in prison, you can read more here.
There is a saying, “if you’ve been to one prison, you’ve been to one prison”. all of them are really very different. so if you need assistance, please contact us at the email address below: