The following are suggested guidelines for writing letters to inmates. They are generally agreed upon by most prison ministers to be the safest and kindest approach to this worthwhile venture and are based upon many years of collective experience. Men and women in prison love to receive letters and it can be a meaningful ministry to both those who receive them, as well as to those who send them.
However, to help avoid miscommunication between the “outside” writer and the “inside” writer, these guidelines are necessary. Certain cultural dynamics are at play that can affect perceptions, which, in turn, can lead to misunderstandings. Although these guidelines were written for the specific use of Christian volunteers, most of the principles would apply to others as well.