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Write a Letter

Hey look at this! You can write a letter to a prisoner without using your physical address! All you gotta do is this easy 4 step process...

1. Contact us for our latest pen pal list. We will email it to you.

2. Choose a prisoner you think you'd like to write to. Be sure to get their exact address including their ID number. It's usually listed with their info.

3. Write a letter. You can use our PO Box as the return address and when you receive a return letter, we will get it to you. The way to arrange the letter is this: in the upper right hand corner of the page, write your name, then c/o Red Bird, PO Box 1291, Columbus, OH 43216. Under that, you can put today's date. On the first lines of the paper toward the left, write the prisoner's name, ID, and address. Then below that, begin your letter. If you write more than a page, be sure to write the prisoner's ID number on each page of the letter.

Remember the following tips: letters are read by prison guards and others. Don't write about anything illegal or relating to a prisoner's case. Let them initiate those conversations. Prisoners usually like to hear about people's daily lives. Think of your first letter as a simple introduction. It's nice to ask if your pen pal needs extra paper or envelopes.

4. Address your envelope like you learned how to do in grade school. Be sure you write legibly and you get the address exactly correct. Add a stamp (wait til a letter writing night for free stamps!) and send. Then we'll notify you if and when we get a reply.

That's it! Remember, letters are not at all confidential. Reread your letter before sending to make sure you're not saying anything stupid that might get the prisoner in trouble. The prison guards will read them, maybe in hopes that you do write something they can use to get the prisoners in trouble.

We're often hosting letter writing nights, where you can come and write letters with us, lick the envelopes and everything. So, come to those, or our other events; we'd love to meet more prisoner support minded folks here in Columbus.