Need help | Write a Prisoner


Need help

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Jocbail13's picture
Need help

THi all I'm new here and have written 3 emails thus far to inmates I was wondering about how long it will take to hear back, also was I supposed to write my return address in the body of the email even though it's on my profile? I assumed that it would automatically include my return address since it was a mandatory field when starting my profile. Another question, one inmate has corrlinks listed and has said they have access to email, video chat etc. they are located in Texas I've since made a corrlinks profile and under correctional institutions do not see Texas listed. Will they have to add me in order to correspond through there?  Thanks in advance! -J



CLW's picture

Hi and welcome to the forum!

First letters can take anything between 2 weeks and 2 months, sometimes even a little longer if you live overseas. Patience is the key when writing to prisoners ; )

If you used the website's email service, your return address should be automatically included. There have been some hiccups in the forwarding service but I believe that's fixed now, so you should be fine.

Texas does not use corrlinks, they have Jpay so if you register with Jpay, you should be able to find this person. However, most Texas prisoners can only receive (printed) emails and have to reply by snail mail, so here it's important to include your return address in the body of your mail.

Happy writing!

javaDude's picture

Welcome Jocbail13 !!

Nicoletta's picture

Sorry, but that's not true at all. I'm from Germany and my prison penpals are from Washington and Wisconsin. It generally takes about 1 week until I get their letter and that's unsurprisingly fast. I even received their first letters 6 days later. Besides that, my prisoners and I decided to use JPay too, because it helps me to get at them faster. I also got myself a local American phone number from an app and we already had a few phone calls. (I've decided to get a local number, because international phone calls can be pretty expensive) 

Zarchery's picture

If you use the site's E-Mail feature, there is a little extra lag time built in there because those are not true E-Mails.  It creates an E-Mail that is sent to WriteAPrisoner.  Staff at the site print out what you wrote and mail it.  They do this in batches, twice a month, on the 7th and 23rd. 


I never used that service though.  I just take the prisoner's address and send the letter myself.  I don't think that the web provides a whole lot of value in their middle-manning with pseudo-Emails.  But that might be because I'm in the United States.  I think E-Mail printouts are sent from their office in Florida.  So not having to wait on overseas mail could speed things up, if you sent your E-Mail just before the 7th or 23rd. 


When I write, it's usually about a week before the inmate gets it (judging from the date they write on their response), and then another week before I get a reply.  So my turnaround time is usally 2 weeks


You really should include your address in the body of your letter though.  Some institutions remove the original envelope and just give the letter to the inmate.  Some don't, but it is better safe than sorry with this.

Jocbail13's picture

Thank you guys so much! I am in the United States btw and will probably send the letters myself from now on to ensure they get there and in a timely matter 

gg2016's picture

@jocbail13 Jpay is the fastest it can go from minutes if it’s short message, but sometimes it can take days as well even if they wrote back immediately..I send long messages so they take hours..and some facilities just give them 15 minutes on jpay, some have their own tablets..Texas they print jpay for them and u do have to include your address on jpay body so they right back.. I’ve never used corrlinks so dunno how that works.. some will just not write don’t get upset over that. From texas they get the printout and depends on inmate if they paper,envelope and when they want to write back then postal time.. @ nicoletta what app do u use for local number? Calls are expensive and add up.. Thank you! 

gg2016's picture

Hello everyone I tried an app from iPhone called text me..sound quality wasn’t great on top of jail noise..used a text me local number to jail and cost for 15min was 4.01 and it went down 3.46.. something is better then nothing..if anyone finds something better do let us know..Thank You! 

sunray's wench
sunray's wench's picture

TDCJ inmates dont use Corlinks, but there is a Federal prison in TX and those inmates do use Corlinks.