What is a pen pal program?
Pen pal programs connect individuals who are not in prison (people on the "outside") with individuals experiencing incarceration (people on the "inside"). With appropriate guidelines and safety measures, pen pals are able to build relationships with one another through regular correspondence.
Different pen pal programs might include people on death row, people serving lifelong prison sentences, or others living behind bars.
Why join a pen pal program?
Human beings are wired for connection. We thrive when have a community surrounding and accompanying us — especially when the journey is challenging.
Carceral systems intentionally strip people of their social networks and put up barriers to communication and connection.
By writing letters to someone on the inside, you offer a unique opportunity for relationship. For many people behind bars, this is a rare and much needed gift.
How do I get started?
Sign up below for a list of CMN-approved pen pal programs to get started finding the one that's right for you.