Do You Enjoy Writing? Do You Like to Meet New People?

Join Interfaith Action’s Pen Pal Progam.

When prisoners lose connection to their family and community they are more likely to commit crimes after they are released. D.C. residents who are convicted of a felony serve their sentence in a federal prison. Over 3,000 D.C. residents are incarcerated in 122 prisons around the United States. D.C. residents are incarcerated in prisons from California to Florida to upstate New York. D.C. residents in prison often feel very isolated since they are often incarcerated so far from home.

To address their isolation, in November 2017, lAHR kicked off a campaign to identify volunteers who will write to at least one D.C. resident in prison once a month for a year. As of January 2024, over 100 people have volunteered to be pen pals with a person incarcerated in a federal prison. Yet we still have over 30 people in prison who have requested a pen pal, with new requests coming in every week. We need more pen pals on the outside to meet the need on the inside.

You can:

  • Save a Soul
  • Build new friendships
  • Learn about life behind prison walls
  • Enlighten people in the community about prison life

You can make a difference!

You can exchange letters once a month.

There will be an orientation session for all volunteers.

If you are interested, contact our penpal coordinator,  by clicking here. 

Or Write:

IAHR PenPal Program
PO Box 9731
Arlington, VA 22219

This excerpt from a letter we received from an incarcerated individual at Wallens Ridge State Prison shows how much it means to those incarcerated to simply to know that someone on the outside cares: 

"I am so very thankful for the concern you have shown for me and my well being. . . I am thankful for you being more than just a bunch of "talk”. . . I am thankful for everything that you and Interfaith Action for Human Rights are all about. . . It's not often that I've witnessed anything beyond rhetoric from those in society that are in positions to make change in the way that prisoners are often mistreated.  I've heard about and read about such people and organizations, but never have I had real life experience with such people or organizations.  I know that I'm just a drop in the bucket, life is filled with so many more problematic issues far, far, far greater than mine...Yet someone took time out of their day to say to me (through words and actions), "I hear you, and you matter."  I'll be forever grateful."