How to Use Wire of Hope’s Website

First and foremost, if this is the first time you consider writing to inmates, we strongly recommend you to start by taking a look at all of the reading material available to you with Wire of Hope’s Prison Pen Pal Program.

How to Use Wire of Hope Website - Menu ArrowOn mobile devices, our menu is accessible by clicking the down arrow under our logo. Click the little down arrows on the right of each category to activate the drop-down menus.

Choose “FAQ” or “Resources” to access many informative pages about prison correspondence.

Once you are ready to look for a prison penpal, you have 2 options:
  • Browse throughout the profiles, by visiting the page “Inmate Penpal Listings”; or
  • Search for specific inmate penpals with our “Prison Penpal Advanced Search” engine.

You can also meet our newest members or members with a birthday this month.

Inmate Penpal Listings

How to Use Wire of Hope Website - Profile ShowAccess our free inmate penpal listings via “Prison Penpal Profiles” in our top menu.

To ensure equity, our full listings are sorted randomly (only the new members’ profiles are sorted by date).

Prison penpal profiles are displayed with a picture of the inmate (when available, or their artwork), their age, location and the very first words of their introduction.

If an inmate catches your attention, simply click their name, picture or the “visit my profile” button to access their profile. The profile will open in a new tab of your browser.

Go back or scroll down to access more profiles.

Prison Penpal Advanced Search

Access our search engine via “Penpal Advanced Search” in our top menu.

Our advanced search engine offers many possibilities.

With our search bar, you can look up for any word or combination of words present in our prison penpal profiles.

How to Use Wire of Hope Website - Search Box

How to Use Wire of Hope Website - Filter BoxYou can also narrow your search to specific criteria with the 18 filters available. Age, gender, location, language, type of sentence are some of the many queries you can run on Wire of Hope. Simply check the checkboxes of your choice.

As an example, if you are looking for people on death row or sentenced to life without parole, check the boxes “life without parole” and “on death row”.

The automatically updated results will appear directly at the bottom of the page (allow sometimes a couple of seconds for the search to be fully completed).

How to Use Wire of Hope Website - Search Profile ResultsClick the picture of the prison penpal you want to find out more about, and their profile will open up in a new tab of your browser. Note that your search results will remain available to you in the previous tab if you would like to access other prison penpal profiles.

How to Use Wire of Hope Website - Resert Search

To reset your entire search and start from scratch, click on the “Reset Search” button.

Profile Navigation

How to Use Wire of Hope Website - Profile Tabs

Our setup with tabs keeps the prison penpal profile information organized.

The main page of the profile (1st tab) will give you the name of the inmate, their age, location, picture(s), voice message (if any) and introduction.

Our other tabs will give you:
  • More details about the inmate (2nd tab) such as date of birth, hometown, profile’s expiration, etc.;
  • The contact information to get in touch with the inmate by snail mail or email * (3rd tab);
  • The sentence information to find out more about their conviction(s) (4th tab).

An additional tab may appear when the inmate shares a poem or essay with the visitors.

To navigate from one tab to another, simply click their titles.

How to Use Wire of Hope Website - Picture Gallery

Most inmate penpals add pictures or artwork to their profiles. By clicking on one of them, you can access the image in full. When multiple pictures are available, navigation buttons/arrows appear under the pictures for you to jump from one photo to the next. On mobile devices, these buttons/arrows are placed above the picture, but swiping is also a possible option!

How to Use Wire of Hope Website - Profile Arrow

At the bottom of each profile, you will find links to jump to the next or previous profile. On desktop, when you scroll down in a profile, you can also go to the next or previous profile by clicking the navigation arrows available on the sides of the page.

* Please remember that some facilities only allow emails to be received and inmates cannot always email back. For this reason, make sure to always include your mailing address in your first email to your prison penpal.

Sign up an inmate for our penpal program

Wire of Hope's Prison Pen Pal Program Brochure

Our services are all described in our brochure.

You can sign up an inmate for our pen pal program and send your payment online.

For more information on how to join Wire of Hope’s Prison Pen Pal Program, access our dedicated page by clicking here.