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What can I send an inmate?

Gifts for inmates can be something practical, useful and/or entertaining. Common items sent to prison inmates include: print materials, such as books, games, puzzles, and stationery. Relatives and friends of inmates sometimes send monetary gifts and photos.

Money

Some states allow prison inmates to receive monetary gifts from relatives and friends. Monetary gifts can give inmates access to person necessities, such as hygiene products.

Letters

Letters can help inmates stay in touch with the outside world through interaction and exchange of news. Several organisations work to help inmates find outside pen pals.

Stationery

Stamps and envelopes make practical gifts for inmates, especially ones who enjoy writing letters. Inmates can use stamps and envelopes to send letters to outside correspondents.

Books

Self-help and/or encouragement books can provide useful guidance and tips for inmates. Books help inmates pass time in a productive way.

Cards

Simple and inexpensive, holiday and special-occasion greetings cards can be an easy and personal way to give inmates encouragement.

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About the Author

Ngan Dam is a trained and certified English literature and ESL teacher. Her work can be found on Suite101, "Go English Magazine," and "Viet Bao." She speaks English, Vietnamese, and Spanish, and is working to add French to the list. Since 2008, Ngan has been living and teaching English in Lyon, France.