Friends Through Pens
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Friends Through Pens

A pen pal mentoring program where volunteers commit to anonymous monthly written correspondence to a prison inmate.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee, in partnership with the Order of Malta, is pleased to announce the launching of a new program to provide an opportunity to be involved in prison ministry right from the comfort of your own homes.

Friends Through Pens is a pen pal mentoring program sponsored by the Order of Malta. As a volunteer, you would commit to anonymous monthly written correspondence to an inmate who has already been screened by the program. These inmates often feel alone and forgotten, and your inspiring words of comfort fill them with hope.

Incarcerated participants have agreed not to request special favors from you (financial assistance, romantic involvement, personal contact) and all correspondence is exchanged directly through the Order of Malta headquarters to ensure your safety and privacy.

Your personal letter is a work of mercy, expressing compassion, understanding, and guidance to rebuild inmates’ self-esteem. As a prison pen pal mentor, you are participating in the valuable act of restorative justice, because studies have proven that pen pal mentoring decreases the rate of recidivism and helps to positively form the character of those who will be returning to society.

To participate in this program, follow these steps:

Please Note: If you are a volunteer for the Department of Corrections, you cannot participate in this program.

 Application Packet

  1.  Download the Application Packet.
  2.  Read the Friends Through Pens Program Guidelines.
  3.  Complete/Sign and e-mail or mail the application page to the Order of Malta Pen Pal Program.
  4.  Wait for the Order of Malta to contact you with your new Pen Pal information.
  5.  Once you receive your new Pen Pal's information, begin sending monthly correspondence,
     following the Pen Pal Mailing Process.
  6.  Enjoy your new Pen Pal relationship and may God bless you for visiting the imprisoned!


For more information about the Friends Through Pens program:

Deacon Jim Matthias
Director, Respect Life Ministry
& Jail and Prison Ministry


Parish Resources

Resources to help implement the Friends Through Pens program at your Parish:

Friends Through Pens Flyer

Bulletin Ad

Rack Card
Printed Rack Cards are available from the Office for Jail and Prison Ministry.

Order Rack Cards

Families & Friends

Do you know someone currently in jail or prison who might like a Pen Pal? Send them the form below and they can get started.

Friends Through Pens
Inmate Pen Pal Request Form

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The Archdiocese of Milwaukee

3501 South Lake Drive
St. Francis, WI 53235

Phone:  (414) 769-3300
Toll-Free: (800) 769-9373
Fax:  (414)  769-3408