People serving sentences in prisons often really need the support of loved ones, they need to communicate with friends and relatives, this helps them to resist the pressure of the system and does not allow them to feel completely isolated. The letters they receive from loved ones can help in this.
First of all, you need to understand that there are two stages of detention: a pre-trial detention center and a zone, this is, respectively, a place of preliminary detention and a place of serving a sentence.
Letter to the SIZO
According to the internal regulations of the remand prison, prisoners are allowed to send and receive letters in an unlimited number, their sending and receiving is carried out at the expense of prisoners through the administration.
Naturally, the correspondence is censored, that is, a special person (censor) reads the letters and makes a decision whether the prisoner will receive the letter or not. Therefore, try to write letters of a more philistine nature, do not write about any details of the court case, especially about any activity falling under the articles of the criminal code, as this can be used against the addressee.
Remember that through the people who read the letters, information can get to the investigators, prosecutors, which means that it can negatively affect the sentencing or simply interfere with the prisoner. Do not write information regarding communication devices prohibited in the prison (for example, mobile numbers).
Do not attach photos or drawings of a frivolous nature to your letters, the main thing is to comply with the internal rules of the SIZO and the norms of the criminal code (erotica, for example, is prohibited in places of deprivation of liberty).
Remember, if you put something in an envelope, then to be sure that the addressee will really receive it, make an inventory of the attachment. By the way, it will not be superfluous to put more clean envelopes and stamps in the letter, since they are practically worth their weight in gold in a pre-trial detention center.
Letter to the zone
In this case, there are no significant differences from the procedure for correspondence with a prisoner in a pre-trial detention center, although one can draw attention to the following points.
The censor in the zone may not be a policeman, but one of the prisoners. This is not a routine, but a state of affairs in which the chief among the prisoners, the "overseer", decides most of the issues of domestic life. Where the power, as it should be, is in the hands of the staff, the rules are just as strict as in the pre-trial detention center. By the response letter, you will understand what type of institution your relative or friend ended up in: letters from the first type zones differ in relative freedom of expression, you can find attacks on the leadership of the colony, a description of living conditions. Other letters are written almost "carbon copy" and only about the fact that they are bored, that they have corrected themselves, they realized, etc.