Wire of Hope’s Prison Pen Pal Program provides many resources about prison correspondence, including tutorials to help you navigate through the different steps of the process of writing a prisoner online.
You will find below the tutorials for the Prison Email System JPay.
• To write a prisoner online with JPay, you need to create an account on JPay. To begin, on the left side of the page, under “Sign up”, you’ll need to enter the state where your prison penpal is currently located and their correctional ID#.
• Select your prison penpal in the list of results by clicking on their name.
• Once you have confirmed the inmate, enter your information and agree to the payments terms of service. Follow the guided steps on the screen.
• You should end up on JPay’s main page with all of the options available to your prison penpal (keep in mind that the services can vary, depending on the state and/or the facility and/or the security level of the inmate).
• JPay works with virtual stamps. If you want to email a prisoner, you will have to buy stamps. On the main page, make sure to select your prison penpal in the drop-down menu, then click on “Buy Stamps” under the “Email” section.
• Stamps prices vary by state, but emails usually cost the same amount of stamps everywhere: 1 page costs 1 stamp, 1 attachment or prepaid reply for the inmate costs an additional stamp. Click on the stamp package of your choice, and then on “Continue.” Enter your payment information by following the guided steps on the screen.
• If you have several inmate penpals in your list of recipients, make sure to choose the correct prison penpal you want to write an email to in the drop-down menu on the main page. Then click on “Compose” in the “Email” section.
• Type your email. You also have the option to include a stamp for your prison penpal so they can reply to you at no cost (in case they have no stamps in their account for example).
• By clicking on “Preview”, you will generate the PDF of your email. If you would like to keep a copy of it, make sure to save it now, as this option will not be possible later on. The preview can also help you in visualizing the email and know the number of pages you will have to pay for (1 page = 1 stamp).
• Once you are ready to send the email out, click on “Send.” You will get a page giving you the cost of your email in stamps, and the possibility to confirm the sending.
• Your message has been sent!
• Allow a couple of days to one week for the mail room to process your email and forward it to your prison penpal (electronically and/or by printing out a copy). If this is your first time writing your prison penpal, don’t forget to include your mailing address in your email! Some inmates do not have the possibility to reply electronically.