Prison can be a lonely place, especially if offenders are far from family members and don’t receive visitors.
The Pen Pal program endeavours to establish vibrant, healthy and enduring connections between offenders and volunteer writers. This letter writing provides a safe outlet for offenders to express thoughts, fears and hopes. Offenders often crave communication that is honest, non-judgmental and positive.
Pen Pals in the community support and encourage offenders, and they learn important lessons about offender and prisons to be better advocates in their communities.
Writers are matched with offenders who are either of same gender, or with whom there is a 15 to 20 year age difference. Additionally, offenders are typically incarcerated in a different province than the writer. Correspondence is handled through a P.O. Box to ensure the privacy of the return address details of our Volunteers. Letters are generally exchanged once a month, but can be more frequent if both participants agree.
The program is offered to all Canadian institutions from coast to coast that wish to participate. Often, there are more offenders waiting for Pen Pals than we have writers.
Have questions about the program? Visit our Pen Pal FAQ page to learn more.
Contact us for more information about becoming a Pen Pal Volunteer.