Can You Use Email in Prison?
By Richard McDonald
You can use email in prison. The Trust Fund Limited Inmate Communication System (TRULINCS) is the computer system used in prisons. It allows incarcerated people to communicate with family and friends via email.
Prisoners can send and receive electronic mail without having access to the Internet. Corrlinks is the electronic mail system used by prisoners. Corrlinks is not the same as Trulincs.
Can you exchange emails in prison with anyone?
No. All contacts must be on your approved list before you can send or receive emails. To exchange messages with people on the outside, you must send a request for approval.
You use Corrlinks to manage your contacts for communication on the outside. The system will then prompt the person to register. Once they register, you can start exchanging messages.
Like phone and visitation privileges, there is a limit to the number of people an incarcerated person can email. The limit may change over time.
For internal communication, you use Corrlinks as well. For example, send an electronic request if you want to know when the next round of RDAP interviews is. Corrlinks is the system that processes these requests, which are called cop-outs.
This is similar to how JPay works in some state prisons.
Will your contacts have to create an account?
Yes. All contacts must have an account with Corrlinks to exchange messages with people in prison. Once approved, an email is sent to that contact. The email arrives from “INFO” as the sender and the subject line reads “Inmate: (Prisoner Name).”
Your friends and family can expect an email from you within the first two weeks of your arrival to prison. Ask them to check their “inbox” as well as their “spam” folder for this message.
The email gives instructions about setting up their account with Corrlinks. It includes a passcode needed to set up their account. After logging in, they should click on the “Account Management” button on the Main Menu. Then click on “Manage My Inmate List” to find your name.
Click the checkbox under “Email Alert” on the right. This box sends an alert sent to their regular email when they receive a message from you. They must log into the Corrlinks website to read and reply to your message.
Can you send anything through email in prison?
No. In Trulincs, you can’t send attachments or hyperlinks. Messages also can’t exceed 13,000 characters (about two pages) or they won’t go through. Sometimes it will take five minutes for the email to go through. Other times it can take a full day.
Like regular mail and phone calls, all messages are monitored. You should be careful about what you write. Don’t write about other prisoners or their location. For example, don’t reveal whether someone is in the SHU or hospital. This is a security risk, and you will be charged with an offense.
You also shouldn’t write about staff members at the facility. The most important thing is to keep your messages general in nature. Do not take unnecessary risks.
You can send emails to family and friends on your approved list while in prison. Like regular mail, all email is monitored.