Before you contact a prisoner, please read our Texas Death Penalty FAQ to be informed. Thanks
On this page we offer pen pal contacts to Texas death row inmates. Our association’s support for death row inmates does not mean that we trivialize violence and crime, idealize offenders or that we are against appropriate penalties. But we are definitely against the death penalty and we don’t want to reduce the inmates to their crimes, but accept and respect them in their humanity. In letters to death row inmates the question of guilt and innocence shouldn’t play a role in the first place. It is not our job to judge these people.
The decision to write a death row inmate shouldn’t be taken lightly
Pen pals mean a lot to the prisoners. All Texas death row prisoners live in isolation. Letters from the outside allow them to see the world with your eyes, and sometimes the letters from pen friends all over the world are the only contact to the outside world. It would be unfortunate if the new pen pal stops writing after a few letters. You should be aware that the inmates share good and bad time with you and that this could perhaps be emotionally draining for you. So please be aware of the consequences of your decision before you contact a person on Texas death row.
The general correspondence rules at Texas Polunsky Unit which houses death row prisoners are:
Prisoners are allowed to receive printouts, letters, photos and signed cards from friends. They are allowed to receive books and selected correspondence material directly through an approved vendor like Amazon, or Barnes & Noble, or the Texas Prison Bookstore. It is not allowed to send stamps to the prisoner. The unit’s commissary also sells correspondence supplies and stamps. Please ask your new pen pal for specific instructions pertaining to Texas mail rules. For the first contact we suggest to use a plain white envelope and simple writing paper.
Of course our association is providing this pen pal service at no charge. Nevertheless, our association has regular expenses for the correspondence with death row inmates who are searching for pen pals. Therefore you would help us a great deal with this project with a small contribution. We depend on donations to maintain our project “Letters to Death Row”.