Reentry Lifeskills

January 30, 2023

Ideas for Fun Things to Send to an Inmate

Incarcerated individuals are often allowed to receive mail and care packages from family and friends. Sending something special can make their day a little brighter, even during difficult times.

Please note: you will always want to be careful that what you send isn’t labeled “contraband”. Contraband is anything that may be deemed a hazard to an institution’s safety and security, e.g. food, tobacco products, alcohol, drugs, weapons or something that could be used as a weapon, etc. Always be sure to check with the facility first before you send anything.

Here are a few ideas of fun items you can send to your loved one in prison:

  1. Pictures and Letters: Sharing memories with your loved one is a great way to stay connected. Photos, letters, and postcards are some of the easiest items to send incarcerated individuals, and they can provide a powerful emotional connection. Often, incarcerated individuals will hang photos and letters on the walls of their cells. This can be a daily reminder of the love and support from family and help keep their focus on the brighter days ahead and better themselves for release.

  2. Music: Sending an incarcerated individual music can help them stay connected to the outside world and bring comfort during their time away from home. They are usually allowed to receive CDs or tapes but check with the specific prison for their regulations. When considering what type of music to send, think about your loved one’s preferences and what might brighten their day. Perhaps a childhood favorite or a relaxing instrumental album can help them relax and reflect. This is a great way to send positive vibes and love from afar.

  3. Books: Incarcerated individuals are often allowed to receive books and magazines, depending on the facility’s regulations. Reading can be a great way to pass the time and provide comfort during difficult times. Books are perfect for those who may not have access to other forms of entertainment. Consider sending a religious, self-help book or a classic novel – something to bring them comfort and joy.

  4. Games: Board games and puzzles can help incarcerated individuals productively pass the time. In some cases, they can also receive video games but check with the specific prison for their regulations. Games can also be a great way to stay connected with family and friends, with some facilities allowing incarcerated individuals to play games together.

  5. Crafts: Sending craft supplies to an incarcerated individual allows them to express their creativity and have fun with a hobby. Those in prison are allowed to receive art supplies like paint, markers, coloring books, and more. You can also check with the prison for any hobby classes or clubs offered. These activities can help promote positive change and provide a much-needed distraction from the hardships of prison life.

  6. Comfort Items: Sending comfort items like blankets, gloves, hats, and slippers can provide warmth during cold days in the prison. Some facilities even allow incarcerated individuals to receive microwavable items like popcorn and soup. These items can make prison life more comfortable and enjoyable.

  7. Hygiene Items: Hygiene items like toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo are essential for incarcerated individuals. These products are not always provided and can be expensive when purchased from the commissary. Many facilities allow incarcerated individuals to receive hygiene items, so consider sending these items to your loved one. This is a practical way to show you care and ensure their health and well-being.

  8. Money: Money is a great way to provide your loved one with the items they need. They can use the money to purchase food, hygiene items, and other items from the commissary. Check with the facility to see which forms of money they accept, as policies may vary.

  9. Care Packages: Sending a care package to an incarcerated individual is a great way to show you are thinking of them. Care packages typically include various items, such as food and hygiene items, books, music, art supplies, and comfort items. There is something special about receiving a package of hand-selected and personalized items to meet your individual needs, so give your loved one a special surprise with a care package.


Sending something to an incarcerated individual can show them they are not forgotten and that you care. With some creativity and research, you can find fun and thoughtful items to send that can make a lasting impact.

What Does Reentry Lifeskills Offer?


Reentry Lifeskills offers a life-changing curriculum designed to give incarcerated individuals the skills they need to make positive life changes. Unlike regular course books, our courses are written in story format using real people and real problems. Our correspondence courses offer time-tested skills and advice to help individuals become happier, more confident, and more successful both inside and outside of prison walls. These courses aim to help incarcerated individuals break negative patterns, gain self-esteem, recognize their potential, and create real results in their lives. By providing these essential life skills in an easy-to-read format, we hope to guide incarcerated individuals toward a better future.

Incarcerated Individuals Matter


Referring to people in prison as “incarcerated individuals” is a respectful way of affirming their humanity. After all, if individuals are stigmatized and labeled too harshly, it can lead to feelings of dehumanization. Respectful language helps maintain the respectability of those confined within the justice system and fosters an environment of healing instead of punishment. By referring to those deprived of their freedom as “incarcerated individuals,” we remind ourselves and each other that these people have rights, just like everyone else. It’s a small step towards rehabilitating offenders while providing them with the same courtesy we show citizens who have not been through similar experiences. Using this term helps to recognize the disproportionate incarceration trends among marginalized groups such as racial minorities and can push us forward in advocating for more equal outcomes in our justice system.

Some tips to show incarcerated individuals that their lives still matter:

  • Listen to them, and take what they have to say seriously, without judgment
  • Respect their privacy and don’t be invasive
  • Show empathy and understanding
  • Acknowledge and honor their struggles
  • Invite them to participate in activities that let them know they are valued
  • Offer support and encouragement
  • Let them know they are an important part of the community


Contact Reentry Lifeskills Today


At Reentry Lifeskills, we believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to lead a positive and productive life. By providing the resources and support needed to make positive changes, we are helping to give incarcerated individuals the tools they need for a successful future. Contact us today if someone you know is interested in enrolling in a correspondence course or learning more about our services. We look forward to working with you.

Want to Learn More About Reentry Lifeskills Courses?
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