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Send a Greeting

Brighten Someone’s Day

Send a holiday card to an incarcerated individual!

Sadly, religious fanatics used the Fair Shake address to push their agenda to the incarcerated while claiming they were serving Jesus.  Because of this, we no longer offer the opportunity for individuals to use this method of sending a greeting.  Please use “General Delivery” instead (see below).

To find incarcerated individuals who would like to hear from you, please check out the listings on one of the following websites:

Available Online Only

~ Be an angel and send a greeting. ~

Mail call can be one of the most exciting times of day for a prisoner or one of the most depressing. Letters deliver hope, renew energy and offer support and guidance for real and meaningful change. Sometimes letters simply provide the message you are not forgotten.

Fair Shake would like to encourage community members to write to incarcerated individuals.  We know from experience that communicating with the outside world can pull incarcerated individuals out of depression and despair.

Please consider shining your light into a prison cell.

We understand this can sound like a frightening suggestion. You may be saying to yourself: Write to incarcerated individuals.  Is that safe? Yes, it can be safe when you are careful. Below we have some suggestions to help you seriously consider (materializing) your connection. You’ll find tips and links for communicating and suggestions for keeping your address safely protected.

Please consider reaching out. You can provide the hope, energy, guidance and support they need and reap many benefits as well!


Please consider these points:

  • Commit to writing at least 6 times per year.
  • Be courteous and respectful.
  • Please consider writing to someone on death row


Brighten someone’s day anonymously!

Send a holiday or birthday card!

If you are sending a greeting but do not wish to correspond, let the incarcerated person know this in your letter to them.

Getting started!

First, you can find incarcerated penpals on several websites, We have listed a few below. Then look for a person who matches your interests. Please consider committing to writing about 6 times per year. Prepare your letter, asking questions about them, finding out what interests you have in common, sharing a bit about your life perhaps.

Incarcerated individuals penpal websites:


On keeping your address secure

Now you’ve got options. If you feel like sharing your physical address, write it in the return address area OR if you would like to keep your address unknown, try General Delivery in the return address area.  In place of your street address, write the words General Delivery and on the third line still include your town and zip code. Your reply mail will be held at your local post office, and you can retrieve it with your ID.

To keep your physical address secure, consider using General Delivery or getting a PO Box:

Sue Kastensen

General Delivery

Westby, WI 54667


Tips on writing to an Incarcerated Individual

Here is a short list of things to consider when writing to an incarcerated individual. For a deeper understanding of what to consider, check out these tips from Prisoner Life:http://www.prisonerlife.com/tips.cfm

  • Write a little background about yourself ? your interests and hobbies, what you like to do in your spare time, your studies, work, pets, your favorite movies, what bands you like, what books, what religion or philosophies interest you, etc. Avoid sharing too much personal information.
  • Be upfront about your ability to write on a regular basis. If you are only able to write once a month, let that person know so that he or she doesn’t look for your letter and feel that you are not interested.
  • If you are not looking for a romantic relationship, let them know upfront. Don’t play head games.
  • If you do not want any kind of sexual references or suggestive writings from the incarcerated individual, make it perfectly clear in the beginning. Getting to know an incarcerated individual  and them to know you takes time and a bit of patience. It’s best to begin with a basic friendship and build relationships from that point.
  • Respond to something they have written in their ads, such as a love for the outdoors or some other area of interest.Ask questions. Show you’re interested in the person and not in the situation, the fact that he or she is in jail.
  • Do NOT include gifts IN your letter.
  • Greeting cards can be a good way to make initial contact. There are so many friendship-type cards available just to say “hello” to the incarcerated individual. This can take the pressure off of you worrying about what to write that first time.