Directory of Pen Pal Companies for Prisoners

By Christopher Zoukis

A common pastime of prisoners is writing those outside of prison.  This traditional correspondence regimen helps to alleviate the boring stretches of down time and allows prisoners to expand their world through the extension of those they write to.  As such, the value of this activity cannot be downplayed.  Pen pals not only help to pass the time, but also to ground a prison inmate to the world they will one day again belong.

The prison pen pal market is dominated by two distinct entities: companies which operate prison pen pal websites, and magazines which contain advertisements of people outside of prison who are seeking a pen pal in prison.  In our Directory of Pen Pal Companies for Prisoners we list both.  Pen pal companies and publications are notorious for folding without notice and closing shop abruptly.  As such, prisoners should verify a company’s or publication’s history before sending any money to its operators.  Due to this regular occurrence, some of these organizations will become out of date shortly after posting.  That is just the name of the game.  To help the Prison Law Blog readers with selecting a quality prison pen pal service, we’ve gone ahead and hyperlinked the web addresses of the pen pal companies that we feel we can recommend.

With this being said, enclosed below is’s Directory of Pen Pal Companies for Prisoners.  Perhaps it will help to connect those inside of prison to those caring souls outside, who are interested in throwing a lifeline to the incarcerated.




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The Prison Education Project of California

By ChristopherZoukis

The aim of California’s Prison Education Project (PEP) is to reduce recidivism and encourage partnerships between the state’s colleges and prisons.  Currently, PEP involves six prisons and about 2,000 prison inmates–both men and women.  The program is delivered via 2,000 volunteers from regional colleges and community colleges.  This volunteer-based outreach program is then complemented by the more formal Reintegration Academy that is a multi-part program that sees approved inmates enrolled in community college so they may attend courses upon their release.  This multi-faceted project is set to expand; its goals are to reduce California’s rate of recidivism by at least 1% and save the state thousands of dollars in costs associated with the care and housing of prisoners.  Image courtesy

The Prisons

Currently PEP is offered to inmates at the “California Institution for Men, the California Institution for Women, the California Rehabilitation Center, the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility, and the Old Folsom Men & Women’s facilities.”  The program asserts that there are now 300 volunteers associated with the project.  Their role is to “expand” the educational opportunities available for prisons.  In that light, this program is designed to complement other prison-based initiatives such as the Reintegration Academy which is also featured on the PEP website.

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