Precautionary Measures to
Write to an Inmate

SAFE Srabble letters photographed by Clarissa Watson Read our FAQ along with the list below to get to know the extent of our actions and measures to protect the public and the visitors of our website when they start writing to prisoners with our prison pen pal program. Please also take the time to read our tips for beginning a prison correspondence, in order to understand to the fullest extent what you can expect when engaging in a correspondence with a prison penpal.

  • Underage visitors are not authorized on Wire of Hope. Juveniles are a vulnerable population and do not have the tools to handle a prison correspondence. They could be an easy target for ill-intentioned people or could potentially get the prison penpal in trouble if they were to be found corresponding with a person under the age of 18. This warning is specified on several pages of our website, including in our website’s footer on every single page. If you are under 18, please leave Wire of Hope now.

  • All prison penpal profiles are proofread. You will only find legitimate prison pen pals on Wire of Hope, since we commit to proofread every single prison penpal profile before posting them online. This is to prevent the inmate from sharing sensitive information about their case or mentioning anyone by name or posting anything inappropriate in their profile.

  • Access conviction information in a separate section of our profiles. We understand that this information is important to provide, but can also be triggering in some cases. Additionally, volunteers feel sometimes very differently about this sensitive information; some would rather know about it, when others prefer not to. All approaches are valid, which is why the convictions are only disclosed when the visitor expressly clicks on the corresponding section of the profile.

  • Information accuracy matters. Wire of Hope’s team verifies the conviction and sentence information of each member to the best extent possible. We recommend that our volunteers take all preventive measures and safeguards possible when engaging in a prison correspondence, which includes reaching out to the corresponding court and/or correctional institution for more extensive information about a member’s case(s) and conviction(s).

  • Visitors can report fraud at any time. Wire of Hope offers visitors the possibility to report prison penpal fraud, about some false information provided in a profile for example, or a scam. Each report is taken very seriously by our team and is subject to a close and rigorous investigation. If the abuse of the site by a prison penpal is corroborated, Wire of Hope can ban and potentially blacklist the inmate from the website indefinitely.

  • Contact information for the BOP and all of the DOCs. You will find on our prison penpal and inmate locator page the contact information for the Federal Bureau of Prisons and for every Department of Corrections of the United States. This information is provided to our visitors so they can reach out to the authorities at any time. For contact information for other countries, please feel free to contact us directly.

  • Wire of Hope recommends against sending money and gifts immediately. On many of our pages, we warn visitors about potential fraud and strongly recommend against sending money or gifts to an inmate at the beginning of a prison correspondence. If a request (for money, packages, gifts, etc.) seems suspicious or inappropriate, please feel free to reach out to our team about it.

  • Many tips and resources are given to our visitors. Many good tips are available on our website, including tips for beginning a prison correspondence. Wire of Hope recommends visitors read this section, along with our FAQ, especially people who have never written to inmates before. The decision to write to an inmate should not be made lightly and Wire of Hope strongly encourages visitors to get informed as much as they can, in order to understand to the fullest extent possible what this experience involves.

  • Our team is here for you at any time. We provide our visitors with an online form so they can contact our team at all times with any question and we commit to responding to every email in a timely fashion.