Prison Solidarity Project - Letter Writing
We are a growing community connected to incarcerated people across the country (primarily in Illinois), who are looking to build relationships with outside pen pals.
If you are interested in connecting with a pen pal, we ask that you commit to upholding key abolitionist principles in your writing and in developing relationships with folks on the inside:
(1) We ask outside pen pals to commit to consistent and transparent communication – it doesn’t mean you have to write every week or even every other week but being honest about how much you can communicate is important. Communication with people on the outside is often a lifeline for people inside and we take that seriously. Simultaneously, it's important to communicate your own boundaries and know when you need to exit a relationship. If writing doesn’t work out for any reason, please communicate that you will not be continuing to write.
(2) Being in solidarity with people on the inside requires working hard to create equality in our relationships, especially when so much is working against that. We ask that people resist googling their pen pal or searching their criminal history for that reason. Let people tell you their story on their own time and on their own terms.
(3) We ask that people writing commit to an ever sharpening analysis of the white supremacy, anti-Blackness, ableism, homophobia, transmisogyny and xenophobia, understanding how these forms of oppression uphold the prison industrial complex and criminalization of those we are in relationships with.
For people outside of the so-called "United States", we are unfortunately unable to connect you with a pen pal because of prison email service and mailing limitations. We deeply appreciate your solidarity with incarcerated people in the US and encourage you to look for and connect with local networks!
Lastly, if you are interested in joining a signal chat with other people connected to pen pals at the same facility, please include your phone number in the form below.