How to Stay in Touch with a Girlfriend or Boyfriend in Jail

Incarceration can be difficult on people in a relationship, for both the person on the inside and the person on the outside. Spending time apart may be hard, but it is possible to stay in contact with your girlfriend or boyfriend in jail and nurture your relationship. Keeping up with communication will help both partners feel more connected to one another, and can help the incarcerated person’s mental health, too. In fact, research shows that around half of all incarcerated people suffer from some sort of mental illness. Staying in contact with your incarcerated loved one has been proven to help with their mental health and set them up for a better life upon release. If you’re not sure how exactly to foster your relationship during your time spent apart, follow these tips on how to stay in touch with a girlfriend or boyfriend in jail. 

Visit Face-to-Face

One of the most impactful ways to stay in touch with your incarcerated boyfriend or girlfriend is by visiting them in person. A face-to-face interaction will help remind you both that the love you have for each other is real and can last through the tough times. It is important to note that when planning your visit, you must make sure you check the rules and regulations for the facility your loved one is at and follow visitation guidelines accordingly. If you are unsure what to talk about with your loved one, follow these 7 tips on what to talk about when visiting someone in jail. 

Staying in touch with an incarcerated loved one.

Hear Their Voice

During a relationship, you usually talk to your significant other over the phone on a regular basis. Even if your partner is incarcerated, this part of your relationship can be maintained in a slightly different way. Inmates are allowed to make phone calls, and you should always try to answer when they get the chance to call. Hearing your voice can turn their whole day around, and will cheer you up as well. For more details on how an inmate can make phone calls, check out this post on the Pelipost blog.  

Put It On Paper

Back in the day, letters were the main form of communication for lovers who were apart. Sending your incarcerated partner a love letter is a classic way to stay in touch and keep the spark alive. Although they won’t be able to hear your voice, a letter will give them a tangible token of your love that they will be able to hold onto and look back on when they are missing you. 

Share Photos They Will Cherish

Along with the letters, sending photos is another way to give a tangible item to your incarcerated significant other that they will cherish. Sharing images of life milestones, happy memories, or just your smile will be something your loved one can look at when they are missing you and life on the outside. Pelipost makes it easy for you to send these photos that your boyfriend or girlfriend will love. For tips on how to send pictures to inmates and what kind of photos to send, check out this blog post.

Staying in touch with a girlfriend or boyfriend in jail is possible and will be beneficial to you both in the long run, and Pelipost is here to help.

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

How Often Can an Inmate Make Calls (and Other Answers to FAQs)

Fostering a connection with your incarcerated loved one is beneficial during your time spent apart. In fact, staying in contact with an incarcerated person will help with their mental well-being and set them up for a more successful life upon release. Along with exchanging mail with an incarcerated loved one, phone calls and in-person visits are personal gestures that can be very meaningful. However, the rules and regulations around contacting your incarcerated loved one can be a little confusing. The Pelipost team has put together tips about how often an inmate can make calls, along with answers to other FAQs. 

How Often Can an Inmate Make Calls

How often can an inmate make calls?

Although it may vary from facility to facility, incarcerated people typically receive up to 300 minutes of telephone calls per month. The frequency depends on the incarcerated person’s behavior, the wait time for using the phone, and the operating hours the facility has placed for the phone. Although rare, sometimes the warden will grant extra phone minutes in addition to the 300 minutes per month depending on behavior. It is also common for facilities to grant extra minutes during the holidays to promote family bonding. 

How long can the phone calls be?

The general rule of thumb for the length of phone calls from prison is 15 minutes. Once the 15 minutes of speaking is up, the phone will disconnect automatically. The incarcerated person must wait 30 minutes before they are allowed to to make another call. Facilities tend to have a handful of telephones for a few hundred people, so wait times can be very long. Phone calls must always be made by the incarcerated person, but their loved ones on the outside should be aware of the costs they will be charged from these collect calls. 

How long does an incarcerated person have to wait before making a phone call?

The timing for incarcerated people to make phone calls depends on the facility they are at and where they are in the incarceration process. For example, if the person was just arrested, they will be allowed a phone call after the booking is done. While going through a sentence, there is a process they must undergo before making calls. In the intake and classification process, they must participate in a medical, physical, and psychological examination. This process can take anywhere from one day to a few weeks, and during this period the incarcerated person will not be allowed to make phone calls. 

How often can you visit your incarcerated loved one?

Under federal law, an incarcerated person will receive at least 4 hours of visiting time per month. Depending on the location of your loved one, they may receive more visiting hours than that. The facility may also restrict the length of each visit and the number of people that can be in the room. Before you go, make sure to check the facility’s visiting schedule and whether or not you need to set up an appointment. If you’re not sure how to approach an in-person visit with your incarcerated loved one, check out these tips on what to talk about when visiting someone in jail. 

What are some other tips for staying in contact?

Other than phone calls and in-person visits, there are other ways to stay connected to your loved one while they are incarcerated. Communication through mail is a simple and easy way to keep in contact, and it gives the incarcerated person a keepsake to hold on to. For example, sending photos through Pelipost is a great way to stay connected and give your loved one a tangible item to help them through tough times. 


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

How Is Mail Processed in a Prison?

Have you ever wondered about the process your mail goes through before making it to your incarcerated loved one? There may be more to it than you think. The general process is that the mail is shipped, sorted, scanned for contraband, and then given to the inmate. However, it is not always that simple, as correctional facilities can face many roadblocks in the mailroom. In today’s post, we break down the things you probably don’t know about mail processing in a prison.

How Is Mail Processed in a Prison?

Sometimes Mail Arrives Unsorted

Prisons use the U.S. Postal Service to handle their mail, however, not all use it to their advantage. Some facilities only use one mailbox to receive regular inmate mail, legal mail, and administrative mail — which all arrives at once, unsorted. This means that the prison has to use extra time and bandwidth of their employees to sort through these types of mail before they can be processed. 

Some Prisons Use Correctional Officers to Sort Through Mail

Most correctional facilities are overwhelmed with the amount of mail they receive and therefore have to process. Due to this, the mailroom workers are sometimes assisted by correctional officers with a light workload, or on the night shift while inmates are sleeping. They can assist with the separating of types of mail as well as search mail for contraband. For more information on what prisoners are allowed to receive, click here

Standard Mail Processing is Often Delayed

If it seems like your standard mail sent to your incarcerated loved one takes longer to arrive, that is due to the processing delays many prisons face. Legal and certified mail is processed immediately, while regular mail is set aside to be searched to identify items requiring more inspection. This includes mail with enclosures such as stamps, photos, money orders, or contraband. When something with contraband is found, the mail process for all mail comes to a halt while the contraband is addressed. This can cause long delays, as many facilities have their workers hand-write the forms about why the piece of mail is not accepted. 

Duplicate Logs Take Extra Time

The Prison Legal News found that prisons spend significant amounts of time creating duplicate logs when processing legal mail. Legal mail often gets priority over other mail in these facilities, but the double processing can take up a lot of time, creating delays for other types of mail. Many prisons require three types of logging for this mail: first on a hand-written form, then in a logbook used to record legal letters processed by date, and third, into an Excel database spreadsheet. Mailroom employees said this logging takes approximately an hour a day to complete, taking their time away from other types of mail, like personal photos.

Although it may face roadblocks and delays, sending mail to your incarcerated loved one is a great way to stay connected, which will benefit them in the long run. Pelipost is here to help you with this process and assure that your mail will be received by your incarcerated loved one. 

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

How Many Pictures Can You Send to Someone In Jail?

Keeping in contact with your incarcerated loved one is proven to positively impact their mental health and overall well being. One of the best ways to keep up your relationship with them — next to in-person visits and phone calls — is to send them photos of your family and what is going on in your lives. Photographs can be a great way to brighten your inmate’s day and is a possession they will cherish. However, there are rules and regulations in place in regards to inmates receiving photos. The Pelipost team has put together these tips for how many pictures you can send to someone in jail. 

Check With the Facility 

The first thing to keep in mind is that rules and regulations vary from facility to facility when it comes to sending mail to inmates. As a general rule of thumb, it is a good idea to check with the specific correctional facility your loved one is located at before sending them photos. Most of the time this can be confirmed through the facility’s website, but if you are still unsure, we recommend calling the facility directly. It is better to check beforehand to ensure that your photos will be accepted rather than returned to you by the facility. 

Cap It at 50

Although it is important to double check with your incarcerated loved one’s specific facility, most jails and prisons allow inmates to have up to 50 photos in their possession. As the sender, you should keep track of the number of photographs you send to make sure they get to keep the pictures that are most important. Before sending the photos, make sure they follow these guidelines for appropriate content that the correctional facility will accept. 

Talk With Your Loved One

Your incarcerated loved one is a great resource to find out information about their facility. Ask them directly: how many pictures you can send to someone jail? Are there any rules or regulations that I should be aware of?

If your inmate has had the same group of photos for a while and is ready for a refresh, they may not tell you up front. The next time you talk to your inmate, ask if they might want new photos. If they’ve reached their photo limit, they may be ready for more recent images of family celebrations and holidays, and willing to retire a few. Especially if any family members have experienced life-changing events, like graduating, getting their first car, meeting Santa for the first time, or getting married. Photos of these events will be a welcome addition for your loved one. We recommend sharing as much as you can!

Let Pelipost Help You Out

Once you are ready to send photos to your inmate, make sure to download Pelipost and follow these steps for an overall smooth transaction. Pelipost does not have a cap for the amount of photos you can send through the app, but the team will work with you to fit the guidelines from your loved one’s prison. With Pelipost, you can stay connected to your incarcerated loved one easily and securely, and include them in your family’s big events through photographic mementos.

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

Picture Ideas for Inmates: What to Send Your Incarcerated Loved One

Sending photos to a loved one while they are incarcerated can be a great way to lift their spirits and foster your relationship during a difficult time. Staying connected to someone in jail can help their well-being — both emotionally and behaviorally — and can increase their chances of successful rehabilitation and good life choices upon release. If you are ready to send a photo to an inmate, but don’t know where to start, Pelipost has created a list of ideas for what kind of pictures to send to your incarcerated loved one. 

Smiles of Family and Friends

Your inmate probably misses seeing the smiling faces of loved ones on a day to day basis. Seeing friends and family members through a photograph may not be the same, but can be a great way to lift spirits during a tough time and remind inmates that they are not alone. These types of photos are best with a clear background and no objects, tattoos, or hand symbols pictured.  

Special Events 

Whether it’s a wedding, birthday, holiday, or accomplishment, your incarcerated loved one probably feels as if they are missing out on big moments in life. Capturing photos of special events and sending them to your incarcerated loved one can help them to feel included in your life and share in the joy that you felt during these big moments. 

Pictures of Pets

Who doesn’t love seeing a photo of an adorable, happy pet? Your loved one is probably missing the warmth and cuddles from their furry friend while incarcerated, and seeing a photo of their beloved pet can brighten their spirits. Whether your pet is covered in feathers, scales, or fur, a cute photo of them is a great memento to send to your inmate. 

Picture Ideas for Inmates: Pictures of Pets

Drawings From Kids

A drawing from a child is a heartwarming gift that will bring a smile to your loved one’s face. Children often express emotions through drawing pictures and giving them to loved ones, which does not have to change while that person is in jail. Sending photos of drawings can be a great way for both the child and the inmate to feel connected to one another during their time spent apart. By having a child create a special piece for your incarcerated loved one, they can also process emotions they might be feeling while missing your loved one.

Picture Ideas for Inmates: Drawings From Kids

Happy Memories

Reflecting on happy memories can help us to feel the joy we did in those precious moments. Photos of past holidays, vacations, milestones, and other happy memories can bring joy to your inmate. Sending an image of a cherished memory will remind your incarcerated loved one of good times, and how much they are loved. 

While there are many great ways to cheer up your inmate during your time apart, these photo ideas will definitely bring a smile to their face. Now that you have likely collected a bevy of images to send to your incarcerated loved one, make sure to download Pelipost for a seamless shipping process. Before you send, click here to learn more about what you’re allowed to send to a prison to ensure your photos make it to your loved one.

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

Inmate Mail Rights: What Are Inmates Allowed to Send & Recieve?

With heavier restrictions on visitation in jails due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most incarcerated people are currently relying on the postal service and mail for communication with the outside world.

With all the rules and regulations related to this, navigating communication with your incarcerated loved one can be confusing. Here are some tips on inmate mail rights and what they are allowed to send and receive while incarcerated. 

What are Inmate Mail Rights?

Inmates have the right to send and receive mail while incarcerated, as protected by the First Amendment. Under the First Amendment, U.S. citizens have the right to the freedom of speech. Freedom of speech includes the right to read books and magazines, the right to call or write to your family and friends, the right to criticize government or state officials, and much more. The rules of this amendment apply to inmates, however, censorship regulations exist for those who have been incarcerated. 

Mail Censorship

Due to the nature of the situation of incarceration, the center where your loved one is located may inspect and censor mail for security reasons. The difference depends on whether or not the mail is privileged. Privileged mail is mail that includes things such as attorney-client communications, and must be clearly marked. This type of mail has much more confidentiality and freedom from censorship than non-privileged mail.

Non-privileged mail includes commercial mail, letters from family members, friends and businesses. This type of mail can be opened and censored by prison officials without a warrant for security reasons. This means that personal letters and photos you send may be restricted by the workers at the facility if they are deemed inappropriate, dangerous, or a security threat. 

Although personal mail may be more prone to censorship, you have the right to send photos and letters to your loved one in prison. There are restrictions and regulations on the types of pictures you can send to prison, but if you follow all the guidelines,  your mail should make it to your incarcerated loved one. 

5 Tips to Avoid Mail Censorship

  1. Avoid photos of or language about guns, weapons, gangs, or other forms of violence. 
  2. Avoid images and descriptions of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
  3. Do not include sexually explicit content or nudity. This includes partial nudity and images of children who are not fully clothed.
  4. Do not send photos of money or write about it.
  5. Avoid photos where a person is holding up a hand sign, including a thumbs up or peace sign. 

Returned Mail

If the mail you sent arrives at the facility and ends up being censored by prison officials, both the sender and receiver have the right to be notified. The notification should explain to you why the mail was censored, so you can understand the reason and better prepare for next time. Rules and regulations may vary from facility to facility, so looking up the guidelines for the specific location before sending your mail is recommended. 

If you are looking for an easier way to send photos to your loved ones, partner with Pelipost! We can help ensure that your incarcerated loved ones get the mementos you’re looking to send them, and take the guesswork out of the process.

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

4 Ways You Can Help Christmas in Jail Feel More Cozy for Your Loved One

The holiday season is a time filled with anticipation, excitement, and joy for most people. However, it can be the loneliest time of year for inmates. At Christmastime, incarcerated people may feel left out as they are separated from their families and their cherished holiday traditions. Here are four ways you can help Christmas in jail feel more cozy for your loved one.

1. Celebrate with an in-person visit.

A visit from family or friends during the holiday season will mean the world to your incarcerated loved one. They may be feeling sad or lonely, and a loving familiar face can brighten their spirits. At federal prisons, in-person visits are allowed on Christmas Day, even if it does not fall on a regular visiting day. On the other hand, at state facilities, not every location will be open on December 25th. Make sure to look online or call the facility your loved one is at before planning a Christmas visit. However, visiting your loved one does not have to fall on the day of the holiday. Any visit during the season will be beneficial to both you and your inmate. Make sure to plan your visit ahead of time and look up the rules and regulations for visits in your loved one’s specific facility. If you are unsure of how to approach the visit, follow these tips for what to talk about when visiting someone in jail.

2. Keep in touch with festive phone calls.

Phone calls can be a great way to keep in contact with your incarcerated loved one during the holiday season. A majority of families live very far away from their inmate’s facility, and with all the rules and regulations, visiting during the holidays may be difficult. If you do not get the opportunity to visit in person, or are only able to do it once or twice, speaking to your loved one on the phone is the next best way to help them feel the Christmas cheer. Sharing your joys and letting your incarcerated friend or family member know they are loved can make a huge impact on their outlook for the season.

3. Send books and magazines in lieu of gifts.

A traditional part of Christmas that prisoners miss out on is gift-giving. Facilities will not accept most types of presents that you would send to a friend or family member during the holidays. However, most facilities will accept books and magazines. Books and magazines are something your inmate will be able to enjoy over time, so they can act as the gift that keeps on giving. Some tips to remember when it comes to sending books include: 

  • Do not send more than three books at a time.
  • All books must be new and soft cover (no hardcover or spiral bound for security reasons).
  • Always ship via USPS.
  • Books must come straight from the publisher (ie. Amazon).

When sending magazines to your incarcerated loved one, make sure to avoid publications with mature or sexual content, like Playboy. The facility will not accept magazines with adult themes and your inmate will not receive them. It is better to stick to more family-friendly or news-focused magazines, like Time or National Geographic.  

4. Send holiday cards and family photos.

One of the simplest yet most impactful ways to make Christmas more cozy for your incarcerated loved one is to send family photos and cards. Having family photos will help your inmate feel included in holiday traditions and remind them that they are not alone. Pelipost can help you send these holiday photos and cards to make it to your loved one in time for Christmas. Before you send, make sure to check out the guidelines for what types of photos are accepted. 

Happy Holidays!

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

7 Tips on What to Talk About When Visiting Someone In Jail

It can be complicated to know just what to talk about when visiting someone in jail, even if they’re a loved one that you’re very close to. However, fostering that connection with your incarcerated loved one can be very beneficial to them long-term.  Studies have shown that incarcerated men and women who maintain contact with supportive family members are more likely to succeed after their release. Before taking the trip to their facility, read our tips on what to talk about when visiting someone in jail to help you prepare. 

1. Share your joys

Sharing the positive events in your life, no matter how small, is a great place to start. Your incarcerated loved one wants to feel connected with you and with what is going on in your life. Talking about things like good grades in school, promotions at work, who is dating who, engagements, marriages, babies, etc. will help your inmate catch up with what is going on in your life. Even the small joys that might seem insignificant to you will be important to them, and make them feel as if they are still included in the outside world. 

2.  Let them know they are loved

One of the most important ways to show your inmate that they are loved is simply showing up. As most facilities are a long drive away, it means the world to them that you take the time to travel to visit. Your incarcerated loved one may feel lots of guilt and emotional baggage, and assuring them that they are worth the trouble of visiting can make them feel loved and important. 

 3. Lend a listening ear

Sharing the joys and triumphs in your life is meaningful, but listening can be equally important. The person in jail may not have an outlet for sharing personal thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and lending a comforting listening ear can make all the difference. 

4.  Be wary of future planning 

Discussing future plans can be a very touchy subject. Release dates can be very uncertain, and talking about the future may be difficult for the inmate to think about. For the most part focusing on past memories, fun moments, and joyful times together are better to discuss than plans for the future.

5.  Don’t be scared of emotions

Talking about and working through emotions is a very necessary part of visiting a loved one in jail. It can be a very difficult journey for them, with a lot of pain and sadness. Discussing how they are feeling, and maybe crying together, are good to go through in the beginning of your visit so you can end your time with the joyful things. 

6. What to avoid

The topics you should be wary about bringing up vary from person to person. Certain tough subjects like death in the family, struggles the person is facing on the outside, and other issues that the incarcerated person cannot be of any help with are best to avoid. The inmate may already be feeling helpless and disconnected from their loved ones, and do not need the additional pressure of the person on the outside’s struggles. 

7. Continue to stay in touch 

Visiting an incarcerated loved one is very valuable, but staying in touch in between visits is essential as well. Staying connected can be very beneficial to the inmate and remind them that they are loved and valued. Sending photos to your incarcerated loved ones using Pelipost can help foster your relationship with one another and stay in touch. 

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

Pelipost Donating 2,000 Masks

Pelipost is more than an app devoted to printing pictures for your incarcerated loved ones. We are always working to make it easier to stay connected and also to make a difference in the lives of those affected by incarceration. That’s why Pelipost is donating 2,000 masks!

The Pelipost Team packing 2000 masks.
The Pelipost Team packing 2000 masks.

Prisons and jails are being hit hard by the coronavirus because of how difficult it is to accomplish social distancing inside correctional facilities. Concerns have been circulating not just among those who are incarcerated, but also among those who work there. Cook County Jail is one of many facilities that has been hit hard by this pandemic. Pelipost has taken action to help.

Joseph Calderon (Pelipost CEO) packing masks.

Pelipost is donating 2,000 masks to the inmates and staff of Cook County Jail to help contain the spread. The masks were officially shipped on Friday, May 15.

Here at Pelipost, we are committed to doing our part in order to keep inmates and correctional staff safe during this pandemic. We are happy to be able to take part in slowing the spread of COVID-19. We’re all in this together!

Don’t forget to send your incarcerated loved ones photos! You can download the Pelipost app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Pelipost Gives Back Follow-Up

Pelipost Gives Back Winners

Following last week’s blog post, we have some exciting news! We asked for your favorite charity nominations and you delivered BIG!

Last week, we began our first giving initiative. As a result, we received over 60 charity nominations. In order to qualify, the charities nominated had to be actively involved in serving incarcerated persons and their families. We are excited to announce the 3 winning charities below! Pelipost will be making a $500 donation along with (25) Love Never Gives Up Bracelets to each of the winning charities listed below. Additionally, we will be donating a portion of sales from December 3 – Giving Tuesday.

Charity Winners

Prisoner’s Family ConferenceThe Prisoner’s Family Conference’s goal is to strengthen the entire prison family and promote successful reentry and reunification, reducing the rate of recidivism by providing critical connections, information and resources for families and secular and faith based organizations serving prisoners and their families.

“I have attended the past 4 Conferences. This Conference represents one of the rare opportunities for many of us to experience love and support even with a criminal past. We learn here that each of us has worth and the capacity to build a better life. We can become contributors to our community through sharing our stories and living a life we can each be proud of. In addition, our Conference highlights problems in our criminal justice system and in reentry which our Conferences speaks out and pushes for change and acceptance.”

Strong Prison Wives and Families – Strong Prison Wives & Families seek to enhance the lives of inmate supporters. They offer a variety of programs designed to provide empowerment, education & support; qualities essential to breaking the cycle of recidivism.

“This group has helped me feel loved and supported from day one being with a man who is incarcerated. They offer help understanding the system, how to handle losing a loved one to the system, and how to self care. This group has been a shoulder to cry on and a group to share laughs all the way to fighting the stigma of loving someone inside.”

Arouet Foundation Arouet has helped women tap into their own strengths, identify viable career paths, and establish stable, self-sufficient lives outside of prison. They’ve been serving incarcerated women for over 7 years with pre and post release programs. Most importantly, Arouet offers educational and employment supports, mentoring, wellness and behavioral health, life skills development, and advocacy.

“It was the most amazing opportunity and experience I’ve ever had in my life and I did all of that behind bars. I got out with over $10,000 to start my life over with. This Foundation gives these women hope.”

With that said, we are so grateful for your support and participation. You’ve made our first Giving Tuesday campaign a success! More information about ways to connect and get involved with the charities will be provided in the near future.

Finally, don’t forget to send your incarcerated loved ones photos this holiday season! You can download the Pelipost app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.