How to Make Sure Your Incarcerated Loved One Receives Real Photos, Not Copies

Have you ever tried to send photos to your incarcerated loved one, only to have them tell you that they received a black and white photocopy instead? Some facilities have policies in place where original photos are scanned and copied to prevent contraband. Read on to learn more about why this happens and how you can make sure your loved one is receiving real photos, not photocopies.

Why photocopies?

Contraband from the outside, including drugs, is a concern for all correctional facilities. In an effort to prevent contraband entering jails and prisons from the outside, some facilities scan original letters and photos and distribute the copies to those who are incarcerated. We understand how crucial receiving photos can be for our incarcerated loved ones. Photos serve as an important reminder of the outside and can provide inspiration , comfort, and hope. We also understand how disappointing it can feel for both you and your loved one to receive photocopies when you’re expecting to send or receive real photos.

Pelipost works with facilities to find alternatives to photocopies

At Pelipost, our mission is getting your photos to your incarcerated loved one safely, quickly, and easily. We advocate for our customers and want to make sure all loved ones are receiving full-color, high-quality photos. We have a dedicated Director of Correctional Facility Relations who works with correctional facilities to provide solutions and alternatives to photocopying. One of these solutions has been our photobooks, which are printed with Pelipost’s signature high-quality, full color photos, directly from our secure fulfillment center. We are excited to announce that Pelipost has received approval from the Virginia Department of Corrections (VA DOC) to become the exclusive provider of photobooks in Virginia! Our photobooks are also currently available to customers sending photos to Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PA DOC).

If you know of a facility that is photocopying photos, please contact us via email at support@pelipost.com or send us a text message at +1 (844) 387-5755. This will allow our Director of Correctional Facility Relations to contact the facility. We are always here for you and we’re happy to help get real photos into your loved one’s hands.

Ready to send pictures? You can download the Pelipost app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Use a Prison Catalog to Send a Gift to Your Incarcerated Loved One

As people, we send gifts to loved ones for birthdays, holidays, or just to show that we care. However, due to the rules and regulations of what inmates are allowed to receive in the mail, gift-giving is not the same. But did you know you can buy gifts for your incarcerated loved ones through approved catalogs? These catalogs can include anything from food, clothing, and other items that are approved to send to your incarcerated loved one. Many of these care packages can be ordered online and shipped to your incarcerated loved one’s facility. We have listed a few care package resources below. Just as a reminder, always check your loved one’s specific facility for their rules and regulations. 

Access Securepak:

Access Securepak allows family members and friends to send packages to inmates. This company was developed to eliminate contraband and greatly reduce the time and labor required to process packages. You can create an account and purchase a care package from them here: https://www.accesscatalog.com/index.html?PageID=8 

Union Supply Group:

Union Supply Group offers inmate and family package programs for either state-wide agencies or individual facilities. Union Supply Group uses the entire range of products offered by Union Supply Company and Food Express USA to create completely customized programs. To purchase, visit: https://www.unionsupply.com/sp_union_supply_direct.aspx 

Jack L. Marcus Company:

The Jack L. Marcus Company offers care packages to send to incarcerated individuals in select states. These states include California, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. To send a gift from their catalog, go to: https://jlmarcuscatalog.com 

iCare:

iCare offers snack packages that friends and family can send to their incarcerated loved ones to show them how much they care. From salty to sweet, they have the perfect package to send your loved one a treat. Send your loved one a snack pack here: https://shop.icaregifts.com/shop 

Inmate Care Packages:

Inmate Care Packages offers a wide range of options to send to your incarcerated loved one. The categories for their bundles include Food, Clothing & Apparel, Personal Care, Books/Magazines, Electronics & Accessories, and even inmate phone plans. You can find their care packages here: https://www.inmate-packages.com 

Pelipost: 

Through Pelipost, you can send photos to your incarcerated loved one. Photos are a tangible token of your love that your loved one can physically hold and cherish. Photos mean so much to incarcerated individuals, and help you to keep in contact with them. 

Ready to send pictures? You can download the Pelipost app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

How to Stay Positive in Jail

The period of incarceration can be a scary, confusing, and lonely time for your loved one. Removing a person from society and stripping them of their normal lives and responsibilities can greatly alter an incarcerated person’s outlook on life, and can even affect their brain chemistry. In fact, 37% of people in state and federal prisons have been diagnosed with a mental illness, along with many others who simply struggle with keeping a positive mindset. To help your incarcerated loved one make it through this difficult period with high spirits, you can send along our tips for how to stay positive in jail. 

Focus on Yourself

While incarcerated, it can be difficult not to succumb to distractions, like the actions and opinions of others. Remind your incarcerated loved one that they should not worry about others and to focus on themselves. Goal setting, staying focused, and working on personal growth will help your incarcerated loved one keep their head up and not succumb to the negativity of others. 

Educate Yourself

An excellent way for your incarcerated loved one to work on themselves and keep a positive mindset is to further their education. Although it varies from facility to facility, many jails connect  with local schools to offer a variety of academic courses, life skills education, and career and technology education for incarcerated individuals. Your incarcerated loved one can participate depending on their academic skills, disciplinary record, level of custody, length of sentence, and program availability at their specific facility. Furthering their education will give your incarcerated loved one goals to accomplish, a sense that they are making good use of their time, and wider opportunities upon their release. 

Work on Your Physical Health

Another way for your incarcerated loved one to make use of their time and keep a positive attitude is by working on their physical fitness. Although it varies, many facilities offer fitness centers, classes, and/or equipment for their inmates to use. Working on their physical fitness can help an incarcerated individual boost their self-confidence, improve their mental health, and improve their physical health. This will not only help their mindset, but reduce the risk of injury or disease while incarcerated as well. 

Work Towards a Goal

Goal-setting gives a person a sense of purpose, direction, and motivation. Although the goals may be different than on the outside, it is important for incarcerated individuals to have something to work towards. These can be goals related to education or physical fitness like mentioned before. However, they can also be goals along the lines of improving artistic ability, writing, keeping good behavior, or working towards having a more positive mindset. Whether big or small, encourage your incarcerated loved one to set specific goals for them to work towards during their time on the inside. 

Stay in Contact with Your Loved Ones

One of the most beneficial ways to keep a positive outlook while incarcerated is to keep in contact with your loved ones on the outside. For the members on the outside, using services like Pelipost to send photos to your incarcerated loved ones can make a huge impact on their mindset. This will help them feel loved, supported, and connected to you during your time spent apart. Phone calls, in-person visits, and letters are also great ways to stay connected during this time. 

Ready to send pictures? You can download the Pelipost app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Creative Mail Ideas For Inmates

For our incarcerated loved ones, tangible items are cherished and appreciated because it gives them a physical reminder that they are loved. In addition to written letters, there are a variety of creative things you can mail to your loved one to give them a reminder of home. Receiving mail is something special regardless of someone’s love language, especially for those who may be struggling due to the separation from their friends and family. 

Keep in mind that every facility has their own rules and regulations, so make sure you review the specific facility’s mail policies before sending. Here are some of our favorite mail ideas that include creative items to remind your friend or family member of your love and appreciation.

Children’s Drawings and Artwork

Sending a handmade and personal piece of mail is one of the best ways to remind an incarcerated person how much they are loved back home. Creating a drawing or piece of artwork is a simple way for children to comprehend making something for someone who is in a facility.

This piece of mail can be anything from a painting to a simple sketch that the child decides to create for the incarcerated person. A one-of-a-kind personal creation is both a great way for a child to express themselves, and a way to give the recipient a unique reminder of the artist’s love for them. Consider asking the child to draw themselves and the loved one, encouraging them to think of their family member or friend even while they are apart from one another.

Acceptable Food, Clothing, and Gifts 

Giving a gift in the form of a care package is another great way to show your appreciation and love for an incarcerated individual. These items must be sent through private vendors and prison catalogues in order to abide by facility standards.

Items that seem simple to us can be greatly valued by those in facilities, because they do not have access to the same thing they would have while living at home. These types of gifts do not have to be complicated, and are an easy way to remind someone of home.

Photographs through Pelipost

Pelipost allows you to send pictures to your incarcerated loved ones through an easy three step process. With your incarcerated loved one’s mailing address and inmate ID number, you can upload a photo that will then be printed and delivered through Pelipost.  Pelipost is also the top-ranked mobile app to send photos to incarcerated persons for its ease and affordability. It is important that you feel supported throughout the process, so our customer support team is here to help via email at support@pelipost.com.

Our program is a simple and affordable way to deliver pictures right to your loved ones, and it is made possible by an experienced team who understands what it is like to have someone you love in a correctional facility. The app was born out of first-hand personal experience, and you can read more about the Pelipost origin story on our blog.

Why Pelipost is the #1 App to Send Pictures to Inmates

While a loved one is experiencing incarceration, it is very important to stay in contact with them. Phone calls, in-person visits, and sending letters are all important ways to stay connected. But sending photos can be the most impactful way to stay in contact with your inmate. Photos are a tangible item your incarcerated loved one can hold on to and remind themselves of how much they are loved back home. To simplify the procedure, apps have been created to send photos to inmates with ease. With its simple process, affordable cost, and experienced team of experts, Pelipost is the #1 app to send pictures to inmates. 

Easy and Convenient Process

One of the main reasons Pelipost is the best app to send photos to inmates is our simple, user-friendly process. Once you have downloaded the Pelipost app from either the App Store or Google Play Store, there is a simple 3-step process for your photos to reach your loved one. 

1) UPLOAD: First, enter your incarcerated loved one’s mailing address and inmate ID number. Then, upload your favorite photos to the Pelipost app directly from your camera roll and we’ll take it from there! Make sure to follow these tips for content and sizing restrictions for the photos. 

2) PRINT: We will print, package, and ship your photos directly to the correctional facility. All photos are 4×6 glossy prints.

3) DELIVERY: Your photos arrive at your loved one’s facility in approximately 3-5 business days. From there, photos are screened and delivered to your loved one shortly after, depending on facility screening times.   

Affordable Pricing

Not only is the Peli-process easy to use, Pelipost is also the #1 app to send photos to inmates for its affordability. There are no hidden fees, gimmicks, or fake offers, and we are transparent about our prices upfront. To send your incarcerated loved one 5 photos, it is $3.99. To send 10 photos, it will cost you $6.99. And to send 20 photos to your inmate, the price is $8.99.

Great Customer Service

Founded by a mother and son duo, Pelipost is first and foremost a family run business. The friendly, supportive atmosphere of a family business easily translates over to our excellent customer service. Our top-notch service is marked by quick responses to help requests, surprise sales, and community building. To contact our customer service team, you can email support@pelipost.com and a team member will be happy to assist you as soon as possible. 

We Understand Because We’ve Been There

Pelipost is the best app to send photos to inmates because the team understands what incarceration is like firsthand. Joe Calderon realized the difficulty of sending photos to inmates when his mother, Becky, was incarcerated. Together, they came up with the idea for Pelipost to ease the process of sending these precious photos to loved ones. The Pelipost team knows what the incarceration process is like because we’ve been there, and we are here to support you during this journey. 

How to Send Mail to an Inmate: Mailing Address Requirements

Inmate Mailing Address Requirements

Communication is important in any relationship, but becomes increasingly crucial when that relationship becomes long distance. While a loved one is experiencing incarceration, it is vital to keep in contact with them to keep your relationship alive. Not only will this improve your relationship, but this two-way communication has many benefits for your incarcerated loved one. Sending mail to your beloved inmate is a simple, easy, and effective way to communicate with them during the period of incarceration. Keep reading for our tips on how to send mail to an inmate and the mailing address information required. 

Why Mail?

These days, the rise of smartphones, emails, texting, and social media has nearly eliminated the practice of sending and receiving physical mail. Although there are many ways to keep in touch with your incarcerated loved one, sending physical letters and photos provides tangible items your inmate can hold on to. They can keep this mail with them in their belongings, and when they are feeling lonely or having a tough day, your loved one can reread your words and know that they are loved. Physical mail is also nice for an inmate to share with their cell mates about their family and who they are back home. 

Mailing Address Information Required

Sending a letter to a loved one in a correctional facility is different from sending other mail through the postal service. There are different steps to sending a letter to an incarcerated loved one, one of the most important being the mailing address information. These days, many correctional facilities are requiring more details when it comes to inmate mailing information. A standard rule of thumb is to include the following details:

  • DIV number 
  • Yard number
  • Cell number 
  • Bunk number

This information is important to include to ensure that your mail makes it to your loved one. The more specific you can get with your inmate’s information, the better the chance they will receive it. 

Double Check for Details

Sometimes, the mail process in a prison can be disorganized. A good practice is to check information on the facility’s website; however, facility website information can sometimes be outdated. Another way to double check the details is to call the facility your loved one is at. The best way to have the most accurate mailing information is to ask your incarcerated loved one when visiting face-to-face or talking to them on the phone. Verifying mailing information with your loved one will eliminate returned mail and ultimately prevent delays in delivery. The details become so important when sending mail to your incarcerated loved one.

What to Do if They Move

Sometimes, your incarcerated loved one will move facilities. For example, they may move from a jail to a prison, or be transferred to a different location. Most of the time if your incarcerated loved one is moved to a new facility, their ‘inmate ID #’ will change. It is important to be aware of that and update your mailing address information before sending any letters or photos. Some facilities will forward the mail, but this is a rare occurrence. Most often the mail will be returned to the sender if the correct identification information is not updated. 

We Can Help!

One way to be sure that your mail makes it to your incarcerated loved one is by using Pelipost. When you choose to send your loved one pictures through our app, we’ll take care of the rest, making sure that the mail is delivered in a timely and secure manner. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our customer service team via email at support@pelipost.com.

How To Send A Letter To Someone In Jail

The period of incarceration can be a difficult time for both the incarcerated individual and their loved ones. Keeping in contact with an inmate during their time behind bars has shown to have many benefits — from keeping a relationship alive to improving overall mental health. One of the simplest ways to stay in contact with an incarcerated loved one is by sending them letters. If you don’t know the right steps, the process may seem overwhelming, but keep reading as we lay out how to send a letter to someone in jail. 

Importance of Sending Letters

Keeping Up With One Another

While your loved one is incarcerated, it can put a strain on your relationship as you do not get the chance to speak every day. But it is important to remember that your loved one is probably missing you and their normal day-to-day life. They probably want to keep up with what is going on in your life, and sending updates through letters can be a great way to do this. However, you must keep in mind many facilities have rules and regulations on sending and receiving mail that you need to check before sending. 

To Have and to Hold

Although visiting and phone calls have their own set of benefits, one of the main benefits of sending your incarcerated loved one a letter is that it is a physical item they get to keep. They can keep the letter in their belongings, and return to it when they are missing you. 

Ways to Send Letters to an Incarcerated Individual

Email

A simple way to send a letter to your incarcerated loved one is through email. When you send a letter through email, the note will be printed on paper to be given to the incarcerated person. To send, visit the website of the facility your loved one is located at to find specific email addresses and instructions. Some facilities may require you to go through an approval process before sending a letter. Once you have your letter written, make sure the content is appropriate and follows the rules before sending. 

Postage

Another simple way to send a letter to your incarcerated friend or family member is through traditional postage mail. The benefit to this method is that a handwritten letter is more personal and intimate, and something your incarcerated loved one will cherish. When sending a physical letter in the mail, the facility will typically require you to include the inmate’s legal name, their DOC number, and the address of the facility on the front of the envelope

Send Photos with Pelipost

In addition to sending letters, sending your incarcerated loved ones photos is another great way to stay connected to one another. Like the letters, a photo is a tangible item they can hold onto and look at when they are missing you. Pelipost is an app in which you can send photos to your loved one directly through your smartphone, making connecting with your loved one an easy process. 

Ready to send pictures? You can download the Pelipost app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. 

Why Specializing in Correctional Facility Photo Delivery Makes Pelipost Different

Staying in contact with an  incarcerated loved one can have a significant positive impact on your relationship and mental health. When you keep in contact with an incarcerated individual, it can make a world of difference in their motivation and outlook on life. Phone calls, in-person visits, and sending letters are all great ways to keep that connection alive. In addition, one of the most impactful ways you can stay connected to your incarcerated loved one is by sending them physical photos to keep and look at when they are missing home. It used to be as simple as finding the right photo requirements and sending them through the mail; however, many facilities have recently updated their rules and regulations. Contraband and other problems have become an issue with jail mail, and some facilities are limiting the capabilities of sending loved ones photos. Many prisons are only allowing third-party vendors to send in photos to reduce the amount of problematic mail received. 

What is a Third-Party Provider?

A third-party provider is typically defined as an external person or company who provides a service or technology as part of a contract. In the context of sending mail to incarcerated individuals, these third-party vendors are companies, like Pelipost, that take in photo submissions from individuals, print them out, and send them to the facility on the customer’s behalf. This eliminates steps for the customer, as they do not have to physically print the photo or stop at the post office. In addition, the third-party provider typically makes sure the photos are printed at the correct accepted size and only include approved content

Why Does it Matter?

The most important step in the prison mail process is when the mail is physically given to the incarcerated individual. To ensure that the photos make it to that step, there are many rules and regulations you must follow, although it varies from facility to facility. This is where the importance of a third-party service provider comes in to deliver your photos to your incarcerated loved one. With many correctional facilities limiting mail from individuals, the third-party providers may be the only way to guarantee that your photos will make it through the entire process. 

How Pelipost Can Help

Pelipost is an app that was designed specifically for the purpose of being a third-party provider for loved ones to send photos to incarcerated individuals. With the three step process of uploading your photos, sending them in, and the photos arriving at the facility, Pelipost simplifies the way you can send in your photos to your incarcerated loved one. Pelipost stands out among other third-party vendors because unlike other companies, we specialize in correctional facility delivery. Our customer service team is experienced in working with these correctional facilities and their rules and regulations. Our team is always available to help with questions about specific facilities and will even reach out to the facility’s mailroom if there are any issues with the order. 

Ready to send pictures? You can download the Pelipost app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

The Best Ways to Resolve Conflict With Your Incarcerated Loved Ones

Change is hard. Relationships are hard. When you put the two together, conflict often arises. With incarceration being such a big change in a person’s life, the stress can put a strain on relationships with friends and family. Research has shown that staying in contact with an incarcerated loved one has many benefits affecting behavior and mental health. It is important to try and keep your bond strong. Follow these tips to resolve conflict with your incarcerated loved one, and to relieve stress during your time spent apart. 

Best Ways to Resolve Conflict With Your Incarcerated Loved Ones

Communication and Understanding 

Compassion: Put yourself in each other’s shoes.

A common exercise in resolving conflicts of any kind is to put yourself in the other’s shoes. Although incarceration is a different type of situation than most, it is important to recognize that both parties are going through a lot of stress in different ways. The person behind bars is having to adjust to a whole new environment with many freedoms taken away. The person on the outside has to deal with the absence of their loved one and how that affects them financially, mentally and emotionally. Understanding how the other person feels can help you on the road to conflict resolution. 

Consideration: Is the topic worth arguing over?

Incarceration causes a major shift in the course of your lives, and can put things in perspective. Some issues you used to argue over may not matter anymore, and you can prioritize what to talk about in your limited communication time. On the other hand, some issues may be out of your incarcerated loved one’s control. It is best to take a step back, take a deep breath, and consider whether or not the problem can be resolved right now. 

Compromise: Try to resolve the problem, not win.

As you are both going through a difficult period, there is no point in trying to “win” an argument. Instead, aim to resolve the issue at hand. Brainstorming positive solutions and communicating them calmly with one another can help you to reach a compromise that both parties are happy with. 

Utilize Resources Available

Books

There are many books and other publications available that are specifically written for the friends and family of incarcerated individuals. Reading tips from experts and stories from others in similar situations can help you figure out the best way to handle your situation. A list of relevant books can be found here

Mental Healthcare

Although the incarcerated person’s mental health is a high priority, it is very important to make sure that you are taking care of your own mental health, too. If you have the resources available to you, talking to a counselor or therapist can help you work through any issues that arise. Other mental health tips include practicing meditation, exercising, journaling, and getting outdoors. 

Organizations for Families of Incarcerated Individuals

Many organizations, like the AFOI (Assisting Families of Inmates), were created to help the families of incarcerated individuals get through this difficult time. Using their services can help ease the stress of incarceration and work through the conflicts you might be having with your loved one. 

Continue to Stay In Contact

Even if you feel negative feelings of anger or resentment towards your incarcerated loved one, staying in contact with them can be beneficial to you both. It is best to contact them when you are not feeling upset, as arguments can easily arise when emotions are heightened. Phone calls and in-person visits can be a good time to try and resolve issues, as the conversations occur in real time. However, sending letters or photos through Pelipost is a great way to show your incarcerated loved one that you care, even when tensions are high. 

Ready to send pictures? You can download the Pelipost app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

First Time Visiting Someone In Jail? What You Need to Know.

When a loved one is incarcerated, it is important to stay in touch with them to keep your relationship alive and boost their mental well-being. A great way to foster your connection and bring a smile to their face is to visit them in person. A face-to-face interaction will help your incarcerated loved one be reminded that they are not alone, and help keep your bond alive. However, visiting an incarcerated person is not a simple, spur-of-the-moment, as often as you want type of thing. There are many procedures and protocols you must follow to be able to have a stress free visit. If it’s your first time visiting someone in jail, follow these do’s and don’ts before you go. 

First Time Visiting Someone In Jail

DO: Check the specific facility’s rules

Before making any plans to visit your incarcerated loved one, you must check the rules and regulations of the specific facility where they are being held. You can either check the facility’s website or give them a call if the information is not listed online. This first step is imperative before you move on to planning your visit.

DON’T: Show up unannounced 

Visiting a jail is not like going to the mall, taking a trip to the zoo, or going to grandma’s house—you cannot show up whenever you please. You must schedule a visit ahead of time with the specific facility you are visiting. Typically, there is an approval process each visitor must go through before they can schedule a visit. The facility will have limits on how often you can visit as well. 

DO: Adhere to the rules

The more you follow the rules, the smoother your visit will be. Things like arriving early, bringing the proper documentation, and supervising children are all very important. Doing so will ensure you are allowed to see your incarcerated loved one and that’s the ultimate goal right?

DON’T: Break the dress code

Most jails and prisons have a strict dress code for visitors coming in to see inmates. A general rule of thumb is to avoid tight fitting, see-through, and midriff-baring clothing. Avoid shorts and ripped jeans, and wear closed-toed shoes. You should wear undergarments and socks as well. It is also important to avoid any clothing that could be considered gang related. Also make sure to avoid wearing the same color as the inmates. The color they wear and the specific visitor dress code can usually be found on the facility’s website.  

DO: Talk about the important things

With visits being limited in time and frequency, use this time to talk about the important things with your loved one. Try to avoid sensitive topics like release dates, and focus on what your inmate wants to discuss. Check out more tips on what to talk about with your incarcerated loved one here

DON’T: Bring them any items

To avoid the trading of contraband from guests, it is important to note that you cannot bring your incarcerated loved one any items when you visit. Most facilities will allow you to bring in cash for the vending machines, but will cap it around $20. However, outside gifts, clothing or food will not be allowed inside the facility. 

DO: Send them photos ahead of time through Pelipost

Although you cannot bring items to give your loved one during your visit, you CAN send them photos ahead of time through Pelipost. A physical photo is a cherished item your incarcerated loved one will be able to look back on in between visits. 

Ready to send pictures? You can download the Pelipost app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.