Frequently Asked Questions

If the answer to your question is not found below go to contact form to ask.

About CONPALS InmateConnections.com

What is CONPALS InmateConnections.com?  CONPALS InmateConnections.com is a website that was begun in 2002 for the purpose of connecting prisoners with the outside world through letters and email messages. We pride ourselves on offering more and better services for prisoners than any other prisoner pen pal website.

How does CONPALS InmateConnections.com work? 
The prisoner is charged for posting a webpage on the site. Then visitors to the site can write to the prisoner directly at the address posted on the webpage. Visitors to the site can send the prisoner emails by using the online form on the prisoner webpage. There is never a charge for members of the public to visit the site and write or email prisoners who are posted on it.

How often do you list new inmate webpages? 
New inmate webpages are posted weekly.

What is the number with # sign in front that is listed next to every inmate's name? 
That is the inmate's identification number. They are composed of numbers and sometimes include letters. Spaces and hyphens do not matter, but all characters (numbers and letters) of the ID number must be included for the letter to be delivered to the inmate by the facility. Almost every prisoner on the site has one. Sometimes jails do not assign numbers to inmates, but prisons always do.

How can I find out more about the inmate I want to write to? 
Search the Department of Corrections (DOC) website or contact the facility where that prisoner is housed. Go to Inmate Locators for DOC website links.

How can I locate an inmate? 
To search for an inmate on the CONPALS InmateConnections.com website go here.To search for any inmate incarcerated in the United States go to Inmate Locators.

How can I find facility mailing addresses? 
To find facility mailing address of prisons and jails throughout the United States go to Facility Mailing Addresses.

Do you have information about an inmate's crime?
The only information we have about a prisoner's crime is what is posted on their webpage. This has been provided by the prisoner and not verified by CONPALS InmateConnections.com.

Do you verify an inmate's crime? 
Information about a prisoner's crime that appears on a prisoner's webpage has been provided by the prisoner and has not been verified by CONPALS InmateConnections.com. Contact the DOC where that prisoner is located to learn more about their crime(s) of conviction.

How can an inmate's webpage be removed from your site? 
The request for ad removal must be received directly from the prisoner. Then an ad removal agreement form is mailed directly to the prisoner for the prisoner to sign and return. When the signed form has been received, the prisoner's webpage is removed. No one else can remove the prisoner's webpage for them.

If an inmate's webpage has expired can it be reinstated?
Yes. When a prisoner's webpage has expired, it is placed in archives, including text and photos, and can be reinstated at any time by sending payment. 

I know an inmate on your website that needs an address change - how can this be done?
Go to Contact Form and send notification of the prisoner's new address. Be sure to include the prisoner's first and last name and prisoner ID number with the request.

Why does an inmate on your site have a different release date than the one provided by DOC?
The release date posted on the prisoner's webpage may reflect their parole eligibility date or their good time release date which may be different from the date provided by DOC.

I believe that an inmate on your website has published false information or false photo or is otherwise seeking to defraud through your website. What can be done?
Send notification through the contact page. Please note that information about sexual orientation and other personal preferences may not be considered fraudulent.

I know an inmate who needs legal assistance - can you help with this?
Yes, CONPALS InmateConnections.com provides legal webpage in addition to personal and art & business webpages.

I know of an inmate who wants to promote his art or business - can you help with this?
Yes, CONPALS InmateConnections.com provides art & business webpages in addition to personal and legal webpages.

I am under 18, can I write to a prisoner on your site?
No, you must be at least 18 years of age to write to a prisoner on this site. You must be at least 18 years of age to even be on this site. If you are under the age of 18, leave now. 

A friend or relative of mine is listed on your site and I am under 18 and I want to send them emails through your site. Can I do this?
 No, you must be at least 18 years of age to write to a prisoner on this site or to be on this site, even if you are related to them. If you are under the age of 18 leave now.

I want to write to a prisoner, but I do not have time to look through all the ads - can you help me? 
Yes, go to Advanced Search and use the advanced search form to find the exact prisoner you want to write to.

How long does it take to publish a webpage on your site?
Usually webpages are published within 7 days or receipt of payment and ad materials.

Can I send the emails to the prisoners on your site?
If the prisoner has the email feature on their page, they can receive emails. You must click on either the blue email icon underneath their photo or the "Send me an email" link underneath their address.

Can I send multiple emails to the prisoners on your site?
Some prisoners have the Basic webpage that allows only for the first message from each new pen pal (someone they do not already know) to be sent to them. Some prisoners have the Deluxe webpage that allows for all emails (including from family and friends) to be sent to them. Please read the "Read and agree to the following" section on the email page to determine if you can send them an email message or not.

Can you help a prisoner to write their ad?
Yes, CONPALS InmateConnections.com offers for purchase a helpful how-to brochure and sample ads called "How To Write A Better Pen Pal Ad." It is available only with the purchase of a webpage and cannot be purchased separately. The brochure and sample ads will be mailed to the prisoner; the prisoner can review the materials before sending their statement and photos. Please note that we cannot tell them what to say or write their ad for them.

I know of a prisoner on your site who is not receiving replies to their ad. What can be done?
Send notification through the contact page. We will verify that they have not received any emails in the past 3 months and if they have not they can be placed on the list of Inmates Not Receiving Mail. 

Publishing prisoner webpages on CONPALS InmateConnections.com

How can I sign up an inmate on your site? Go to Signup.Conpals.com.

What methods of payment do you accept for an inmate's webpage? We accept facility checks, personal checks, traveler's checks, money orders, all major credit cards, debit cards, Paypal, Bill Me Later, money transfers, and stamps sent from prisoners.

Can I pay by personal check?
Yes, you can pay by personal check. There is a 2-3 week waiting period for the check to clear before the prisoner's ad is published.

Can an inmate pay with stamps?
Yes, a prisoner can pay with stamps. The stamps must be received directly from the prisoner. Please have the prisoner contact CONPALS InmateConnections.com directly for the more information about paying with stamps.

Why is the rate more when paying with stamps?
Because we do not receive full value for stamps on exchange.

I know someone in prison, can I pay for his or her webpage?
Yes, you may. Be sure to include the prisoners first and last name, prisoner ID number, and full mailing address with payment so we know who the payment is for.

Can inmates pay in installments?
Yes, payment can be made in installments, if necessary. However, service will not be provided until payment in full has been received.

How do I go about getting a brochure and application to an inmate?
Request a brochure and application to be sent to a prisoner. Download a brochure and application from the website.

Can an inmate from outside the United States be listed on your website?
 Yes. Payment, however, must be received in U.S. currency and emails are not forwarded to prisoners outside the United States.

Can I submit an inmate's webpage online or make changes to an existing webpage online?
Yes, you can. Photos, application, and ad statement may be sent by email and payment may be made online on the website. Contact for more assistance with submitting payment and ad materials online.

Do you have any suggestions for inmates to increase their response rates?
Yes. Publish at least one smiling (teeth showing) photo, seek friendship only, and be open to a wide range of people. A helpful, 2000+ word how-to brochure with sample ads called "How To Write A Better Pen Pal Ad" is available for purchase with the purchase of webpage. 

What types of webpages receive the most mail?
  Personal webpages that contain smiling photos, that seek friendship only, and that are open to a wide range of people.

Is a photo required with the webpage?
A photo is not required for a webpage. However, the response rate is usually better with a photo.

Are there any limitations to be aware of when writing a webpage?
There is a limitation of 2 photos and 150 words OR 1 photo and 250 words. Photos and words over this amount cost extra - please see application for prices. Objectionable or explicit content is not published.

Can I write the prisoner's ad for them?
Yes, you may. However, it is recommended that the prisoner themselves write their ad.

How can a webpage be changed?
By sending payment with the new materials. Please specify if materials are to be changed or added.

Can changes to a webpage be made free of charge?
Payment is required to change or add text or photos. However, prisoners are allowed to tweak (minor text changes) their ad one time free of charge. Typos and mistakes on our part are made free of charge. Address and release date changes are made free of charge. 

I know of a prisoner on your site whose address has changed - how can the address be updated on their webpage?
Send notification of a prisoner's new address.

Tips for writing/emailing a prisoner

Will I need to send a blank envelope and a stamp so the inmate can reply? No, you should not send envelopes or stamps to an inmate. In fact, most facilities do not allow you to send stamps to inmates. Most inmates can buy their own envelopes and stamps from within the facility.

What safeguards should I take when writing to an inmate?
Verify their conviction information and criminal background on the DOC website. Use a p.o. box when writing to the prisoner.

Can I send your inmates commercial advertisements?
No. They will be deleted.

I know someone who wants to write to an inmate but doesn't have access to the Internet. What can they do?
Provide them with the prisoner's name, ID number and mailing address that are included on every prisoner webpage on the site, so that they can write to the prisoner directly by regular mail.

Can I send inmates photos?
Most facilities allow you to send photos to an inmate. You should not send Polaroids, however.

Can I send postcards to inmates?
Most facilities allow you to send postcards to inmates.

Can I send inmates gifts such as stamps, stationary, books, etc.?
Most prison and jail facilities do not allow you to send stamps to prisoners. Most facilities have a limitation on the number of pages that can be sent to a prisoner and books usually must be sent directly from the publisher. Consult the DOC site for more information about prison mail regulations.

Do you have any suggestions for writing my first letter to an inmate?
Keep it short and simple. Offer more information about yourself and your life only after you have gotten to know a prisoner.

Will the inmate be given my mailing address?
Yes. Most facilities require the sender's full name and address to be on the outside of the envelope in the upper left-hand corner (not on the back of the envelope) in order to deliver it to the prisoner. Writing your name and address and the prisoner's name and ID number on every page is recommended. If you send the prisoner an email through our service, your first and last name and complete return mailing address must be included in order for your message to be forwarded. 

I wrote an inmate. How long do I have to wait to get a reply?
You should allow at least 2-3 weeks to receive a reply. If you email them, the message is sent the following week. After that the message takes a few days for the post office to deliver it to the prison and then a day or two for the prison facility to deliver it to the prisoner. The prisoner will likely write to you immediately upon getting your letter. If you write to them directly by regular mail (as opposed to email) you will get a faster reply.

Can I email an inmate listed on your site? If the prisoner has the email feature on their page, they can receive emails. You must click on either the blue email icon underneath their photo or the "Send me an email" link underneath their address. Some prisoners have the Basic webpage that allows only for the first message from each new pen pal (someone they do not already know) to be sent to them. Some prisoners have the Deluxe webpage that allows for all emails (including from family and friends) to be sent to them. Please read the "Read and agree to the following" section on the email page to determine if you can send them an email message or not. 

I wrote an inmate on your website, but the letter was returned to me by the facility - why did this happen?
There could be many reasons. Often the reason will be stamped or written on the outside of the returned envelope. Consult the DOC site for their mail rules to learn why it may have been refused.

I emailed a prisoner on your site, but the prisoner never received it. Why did this happen?
There could be many reasons. The most common reasons are an incomplete or missing mailing address, offensive or explicit content in the message, or the prisoner has the Basic webpage and you have had previous contact with them.



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