This is your first time writing to a prison inmate, and perhaps you are a little nervous. Do not be nervous or doubtful. Prisoners need love, too, and your thoughtfulness will be greatly appreciated, even if they do not know how to express their feelings very well. You will be valued and loved for your kindness. Let us look at some considerations which you should take when writing a prison inmate.
Keep it appropriate. If you are writing to a new pen pal or someone outside of your family, do not be flirtatious or overly excited to see them or hear from them. Your anticipation or devotion can be misinterpreted for romantic feelings, and even if it is not, feelings can develop on their end which you do not want to encourage. In addition to this, prisoners are masters in the art of manipulation, so do not fall prey to disingenuous phrases or manipulative tricks. Keep things clean, above board and appropriate and they will return your politeness.
Watch your photos. Sometimes, it is nice to exchange photos. When you do so, be careful to not reveal too much information in the background of your photo. Many detectives and inmates are educated in the art of finding out where a picture was taken by the background clues. Do not be naïve about these clues. It does not take much to discern an accurate location. Also, do not send sexually explicit or revealing photos, because many prisons do not allow sexual body parts to be available for viewing.
Do your research. While friends and family members may not want to know all of the gory details, you should access all public records concerning your inmate before contacting them. Knowledge is power, and you want power on your side when getting in touch with a prisoner. As honest and forthcoming as some of them are, others are master users and will try to get anything they can out of you. It would be helpful to know if they have done worse things in the past, or if they were ever convicted of a sex crime.
Keep an even keel. All prisons have huge amounts of drama within their walls. You can sit in a corner and watch eight different soap operas going on at the same time. In addition to this, prison is a high stress situation with plenty of desperation, self-loathing and broken spirits. Do not allow yourself to be drawn into this saga of emotion. Sympathize with any hard times they are going through, keep your letters light and breezy, and be a steady, sane influence upon their lives.
It may seem a little difficult to get the ball rolling when writing a prison inmate for the first time. Remember, they do not have anyone better to talk to, they need connection to the outside world, and your letters will always be appreciated, even if their appreciation is unvoiced.