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How to Use CorrLinks to Email Federal Prisoners for Free

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I spent eight years in federal prison in California for drug trafficking and gun possession.

Learn how you can communicate with an inmate via email.

Learn how you can communicate with an inmate via email.

CorrLinks is the official email system used by the Bureau of Prisons to allow federal inmates to communicate with people on the outside. Inmates have to pay in order to use CorrLinks. However, the service is free to those on the outside if the inmate is within the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Other agencies may charge a fee. You can upgrade to a premium account for a small fee, but this is not necessary. In this article, I will show you, step-by-step, how to set up a CorrLinks account and use it to email federal prison inmates for free.

Step 1: Receive an invitation

Step 1: Receive an invitation

Step 1: Receive an Invitation

In order to communicate with federal prison inmates, you must first receive an email request from them (which means you must first give them your email address). You can actually register for a CorrLinks account without first receiving the request, but you will not be able to email any inmates yet.

After an inmate submits your email to the Corrlinks system, a request will come to your email inbox (you might need to check your spam box). The sender will be CorrLinks, and the subject will include the name of the inmate. Click on the name of the inmate in the subject box to proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Inmate request

Step 2: Inmate request

Step 2: The Inmate Request

Two crucial pieces of information are given to you in the inmate request email. The first one is the link to the CorrLinks website. The second one is the Inmate Identification Code. The Inmate Identification Code comes in handy later. What you want to do at this point is click on the link to the CorrLinks web site in order to register for an account, if you don't already have one. That will take you to the Login/Registration page.

Step 3: Registration

Step 3: Registration

Step 3: Registration

Click "Register." This will take you to the page where you will submit your information.

Step 4: Sign up / email address and password page

Step 4: Sign up / email address and password page

Step 4: Sign Up/Email Address and Password Page

Fill out all of the required information and copy and paste the Inmate Identification Code from Step 2 into the Identification Code box at the bottom of the page. Make sure you use the same email address here in which you received the request to email a federal inmate. Otherwise, their identification code won't work. Click on the check box, then click "Next." A verification email will be sent to your inbox.

Step 5: Enable email alerts

Step 5: Enable email alerts

Step 5: Enable Email Alerts

If prompted, make sure you click the "Enable Email Alert" check box. Then click "Accept." This will send notices to your inbox whenever an inmate messages you through CorrLinks. Otherwise, you may not know that you are receiving messages unless you regularly check CorrLinks.

Step 6: Verification email

Step 6: Verification email

Step 6: Verification Email

The verification email will come from the sender: "," and the subject line will read: "Sign Up Verification Link." Click on the link to proceed.

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Step 7: Sign up verification link

Step 7: Sign up verification link

Click on the verification link. It will take you to the Sign Up/Account Details page.

Step 8: Sign up / account details page

Step 8: Sign up / account details page

Step 8: Sign Up/Account Details Page

Fill out all of the required information and then click "Next." You will be taken to your CorrLinks account page.

Step 9: CorrLinks account page

Step 9: CorrLinks account page

Your account is set up. Now I will show you how to email federal prisoners whom you have approved for correspondence. Click on the "Mailbox" icon to access your mailbox.

Step 10: Mailbox

Step 10: Mailbox

Step 10: Mailbox

Now click "New Message." You will be taken to your message box where you can compose messages.

Step 11: Message box

Step 11: Message box

Step 11: Message Box

Click in the area of the red circle to get a drop down list, where you can select inmates to compose messages to.

Step 12: Compose a message

Step 12: Compose a message

Step 12: Compose a Message

Select the inmates you want to email by clicking the check box along the left side of their names. You can write messages to one individual or to numerous inmates at one time. Then click "OK." The rest is like writing a regular email. When attempting to email an inmate, you may get a message that your communication is "pending approval." If that is the case, you must wait until the pending period is over before composing a message to them. This usually doesn't take any longer than a day or so.

Here are some common questions about using CorrLinks.

The CorrLinks system is not quite like using your Gmail account. Messages will only appear in your account inbox, not in your email inbox. There are also some limitations in regards to your messages. You are limited to 13,000 characters, and attachments and any media are not permitted. Prison staff will remove these attachments. You are also not allowed to forward messages to any third parties.

Is This Internet Access for Inmates?

No, this service does not offer any internet access to inmates. Their use of CorrLinks is controlled and monitored, and they can't do anything outside of sending and receiving emails.

Will My Messages Be Monitored?

You can expect that any communication will be inspected by the prison staff before any messages are delivered. You actually have to consent to being monitored to use this service. This can cause a delay for any email being delivered. Prison staff can also reject the delivery of any communication as they see fit. Keep in mind that any denied messages may create an incident report for an inmate. They could be reported for engaging in a prohibited discussion.

Some inmates may be restricted from using this service. For example, if an inmate is incarcerated for a crime that involved a computer, it is likely that they will be denied access to email. Access can also be revoked for any disciplinary violation. If an inmate has previously committed any act that threatens the public or the security of the prison, it is unlikely they will be given access to CorrLinks.

Alternative Methods to Contact a Federal Inmate

Here are some other ways you can get in touch with an inmate.

Phone Calls

An inmate usually has to pay for a phone call. Restrictions may vary by institution, but there is usually a limited number of minutes per month. All phone calls are monitored.


Inmates can receive mail from those on the outside. All mail will be inspected for contraband and to make sure that the correspondence is not a threat to security.


Inmates can actually subscribe to magazines and receive books. No material will be allowed if it threatens security or facilitates any criminal activity.


Melissa Reuber on September 08, 2020:

I Have not been able to sign up with this yet. I have two dsys off. Read instructions and have a yahoo account. Will keep trying

Dee on August 14, 2020:

How does a person recharge their email account for Corrlinks?

Stephanie on August 12, 2020:

My email passcode is not working for my email to set up an acct. For corelinks...wat do i do

Carol Rafferty on August 04, 2020:

I need to block the inmate that I was writing to. He is causing too many problems & I want no parts of him any longer.

Tasha ferguson on July 08, 2020:

Hi im trying to message a inmate but how do u do that and not pay and i dont know if i set up my account right for me to message

Zeke R on July 05, 2020:

I was trying to leave a email through Corrlinks to a friend and I wasn't finished and had to leave. I pushed save and now I can't find it. can someone help me or tell me where I can find that saved email on CorrLinks so I can send it please and thank you in advance

Tanya White on June 22, 2020:

when I send a message through Corrlinks to the inmate how do I know if they read the message I sent them?

Chelsea on March 29, 2020:

The verification code hasn’t come through what do I do

Ronnie Gray Westmoreland on March 17, 2020:

We dose not have my email no more

Ales carr on January 17, 2020:

Trying to figure out how to contact a friend he has not sent me an invite because we lost track of each other so he no longer has my email address because I got a new one so how do I get a identification code if he has not emailed me or don’t know how to

Hswars on November 17, 2019:

This is A load of crap. I've been taken for 60.00 and my bank can't even figure it out. I had to close my bank account

Sparkles on October 18, 2019:

From veiws im seeing the #1 thing i can inform you of is check the prison that your person is held at and ask them what service that they offer for outside communication such as corrlinks or jpay.

Ebony on September 27, 2019:

I like this app more than the textin app..

Blanchhie pino on September 02, 2019:

is it any other way that I can get shiny and I just want to take some

Amy on May 17, 2019:

It will not let me email anybody it says message received how can i get it off and let me email

Mary Allen on May 15, 2019:

How do i add money to my account?

Brandon hunter on May 15, 2019:

I know it took me a little but im trying to get this shot started

Gary smith on May 10, 2019:

Hello Andrea I think I got it right maybe.

Kim71981 on April 10, 2019:

Hi how are you?

Sherry on December 28, 2018:

how is it free for the outside when it doesnt let me reply. It keeps telling me that I have to put money on the account. I get his emails just cant reply. Please help

Cj on December 24, 2018:

How do i add an inmate

Brittany on December 16, 2018:

I put money on account and the inmate hasnt recieved any messages nor can send any....this seems to be a common problem by the looks of the reviews...

Mary on December 14, 2018:

My husband is in zapata jail, and I received an email stating he had corrlinks, but no access code. He has the screen but he says its asking for the last 4 of his social security number, he doesnt have one. So what other info does he put, since gaurds dont answer any questions

Tiffany Burnette on December 07, 2018:

how does this work my husband in federal prison i bought this and for some reason its not free for him to send me messages can anybody help please

Nyna on November 09, 2018:

I had a name & number in my corrlinks account & it’s removed is it anyway I can get it back.

Tara lynn on October 27, 2018:

How can i add money for injnmate to check emails

Lisa on October 25, 2018:

How to add the Corrlinks app to my phone?

Sheila on October 24, 2018:

How do I log out of corrlinks

jennifer on October 17, 2018:

how do i add funds tonmy account

Allison Candley on October 12, 2018:

How do I get a printout of the text messages that came in to me from a particular inmate

Chaday pompey on October 10, 2018:

Hey my 2week trial expired soon how do I renew it I’m lost

Rhonrhinton on September 29, 2018:

The title is deceiving it’s not free to use corrlinks federally or state both charge so it’s just instructional and that’s that so if u need step by step with lots of adds an sorta this is for u others go you tube lol,

Laken greenhaw on September 23, 2018:

I've went through every folderand email one by one and he has sent the code twice.. I can't find it.please help

Kimberly Virgin on September 12, 2018:

I'm having a hard time beginning correspondence when I click on began correspondence there's nothing else to click on after that so I can sign up and get this thing going I don't know what I can do but I've gotten these emails from my friend for 2 months and I cannot get this thing started

ej williams on September 05, 2018:

how do you get character back on your site to email

Sonja on September 01, 2018:

My husband is at Englewood federal prison and I'm looking for the ID code for CorrLinks

Sandy george on August 31, 2018:

I put money on my corrlink account. I used it up now im trying to add more money. How do i do that? I wanna beable to send more messages. Help

treasureofjules on August 23, 2018:

Thank you for this website ! I was able to send this around to all of the friends and family for our loved one so that folks knew exactly how to communicate with him.

Hinita L Jones on August 11, 2018:

How to add funds to a inmate email on corrlinks?

Jenny on July 28, 2018:

I signed up after I got the email from corrlinks but it never sent me a verification link. Although the inmate is still on my corrlinks account and I am able to write him but I am not getting any messages back. Is something wrong?

corrlinks on June 15, 2018:

i read your article , and this very helpfull to me

CorrLinks is a way for family and friends to electronically communicate with their loved ones incarcerated in institutions. Established through a relationship.

Pervez on May 27, 2018:

Can an inmate use their own existing email address to communicate.?

Kaitlyn on May 26, 2018:

It says free to the outside, but for some reason I have to replenish my account to send or respond to his e mail. It is only 5 cents but it won't even let me add money to do so... Did I do something wrong to where it is charging me each e mail

Donna on May 14, 2018:

Signed up for the premium account in order to eliminate the captcha texting. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong however I'm still having to type in the captcha. Help please

Abdul Qawi on April 25, 2018:

I've recently had the free corrlink messages it ran out and I'm trying to pay for it using my girlfriends debit card but it won't allow me to do so help on April 23, 2018:

This website has been very helpful for the past year with communicating back and forth with my husband. life would have been much harder not being able to text for information I need on a day-to-day basis. Thanks. Spouse

Erin on April 17, 2018:

How do I add a second inmates code to my corrlinks account?

Linda on April 02, 2018:

I didn't receive a mail from corrlinks with an identification code but I have a pending request so what do I do now??

Sandi on March 28, 2018:

I signed up to receive alerts on my cell phone and don't know how to use it. How do I delete this service?

Laura on March 21, 2018:

It says free to the outside, but for some reason I have to replenish my account to send or respond to his e mail. It is only 5 cents but it won't even let me add money to do so... Did I do something wrong to where it is charging me each e mail

Hel on March 17, 2018:

Do the prisoners get your personal information like phone number and home address

Judy Gross on February 22, 2018:

Am not receiving e-mails and do not know if he is receiving his?

Janine on February 22, 2018:

I need a verification code

Sheila Marlowe on February 21, 2018:

When I send an email, how much does it cost the inmate?

judy sanchez on February 02, 2018:

I already have an account but i cant login anymore or some reason.

Teresa on January 29, 2018:

I already have an account, how do I add a third inmate

diana frost on January 19, 2018:

How do I get more characters?

Dawnne on January 15, 2018:

How do I add funds to my corrlinks account so he is not charged for emailing me back?

Michelle on January 08, 2018:

I have an corrlinks account i changed my password and i don't have sprint or boost mobile i have cricket i would like to be able to text my daughter

Jessica on January 03, 2018:

How can I tell if my inmate has read my sent messages?

evette goodridge on December 23, 2017:

I try to login to my account to email my inmates ?

Jennifer on December 16, 2017:

I am having trouble adding a second inmate to my corrlinks account. I received the invite email and followed the steps to manage my inmate list but it says no record found. Please help

Courtney on November 22, 2017:

How do you add money for them to be able to message you or open your messages

Amanda Froehlich on November 22, 2017:

I registered but I did like everything already before I got the inmate invite did I mess things up

Delores Landry on November 08, 2017:

want emails sent to mobile number!!!!! ITS ON COMPUTER CAN I GET IT SENT TO CELL PHONE ALSO?

Kendra Knapp on November 07, 2017:

I misplaced my password, how do I reset it?

Laquisha Cotton on October 29, 2017:

I can’t even add my boyfriend he only got 5numbers for his id I need help

JSchenk on October 09, 2017:

I have the same issue that Jean has below. Is the site down?

Jean on October 08, 2017:

I have problems signing up on corrlinks, when i put in my password, it doesn"t go through, when i try to create a new one, it does"t go through, what can I do

prisoners resourc on September 19, 2017:

Rialyn.....the alert doesnt go to your phone it goes to the email address you used to sign up, however with our service that works with the Corrlinks application, we take all the guess work out.

Rialyn on September 18, 2017:

I can log in..but can't see the message or doesn't give me alert to my phone need help

prisoners resourc on September 12, 2017:

nacho.... What are you needing?

prisoners resourc on September 12, 2017:

ehud.... just restart with correct email address. However see how we have simplified things for you and your loved one at

prisoners resourc on September 12, 2017:

Kamecy... That means you thread of characters exceeded the max characters that corrlinks allows. Simply start a new message to reply

prisoners resourc on September 12, 2017:

Samia... was sent to you via email to the email address the individual used in their corrlinks contacts. With our system we eliminate those codes. Read more of what we do and how we simplify things at

Ehud on September 10, 2017:

How do I cancel a wrong registration to corlinks?

I printed a wrong email address.

How do I restart registration ?


Kamecy on September 07, 2017:

What does message exceed on corrlinks mean? I got a message and I'm trying to respond to it but I can't

Samia on September 06, 2017:

I am unable to get identification code for in registration can i find that?help me out please

prisoners resourc on August 26, 2017:

Jessica..... To block an individual on Corrlinks, you would simply log into Corrlinks, Select Account Management, Click Manage My Inmate List, then click the word BLOCK to the right of the inmates name.

prisoners resourc on August 25, 2017:

babygirl..... You would have to be more descriptive with the issue. We have however made it easier to stay connected to your loved one:

prisoners resourc on August 25, 2017:

Aaron.... when you refer to characters im assuming you are referring to the individual using corrlinks behind the fence? If that is the case, THAT INDIVIDUAL WOULD have to send another request that you would accept in order to be able to contact them

prisoners resourc on August 25, 2017:

Harry.... It does not matter what email service you use. As long as the email can be accessed by you. We have however made it easier to stay connected to your loved one:

prisoners resourc on August 25, 2017:

Jan... Are you referring to the CODE? The code is sent to the email the individual used when he sent the invitation. That code is what typically it is referring to. We have however made it easier to stay connected to your loved one:

Jan on August 25, 2017:

How do I get the identification number for my inmate it won't let me access his number that I hope inmate number

Harry Snider on August 24, 2017:

Is a Yahoo e-mail account required or can I use my g-mail account?

Aaron Tenner on August 20, 2017:

How do you get characters back on your account so you can email

Babygirl on August 18, 2017:

Im trying to email not letting me

WESTINA Jeffers on July 08, 2017:

The emails aren't going through , why aren't the email being sent or received ?

Jessica on July 06, 2017:

I am trying to block an inmate from sending me emails. How do I do that?

Louise Billings on June 30, 2017:

I'm trying to register but the system tells me my ID Code does not exist. Is it past the 10 day period. Can I start over?

prisoners resourc on June 19, 2017:

It does cost them, .05 per min

Nina on June 12, 2017:

My inmate says that he has to pay to open emails each time he logs in. Is this true? If so how much does he pay each time?

prisoners resourc on June 09, 2017:

Actually not a dumb question... Emoji's will not appear in corrlink emails. Even despite using our service at we can ONLY deliver them words and NOT Emoji's

Dory on June 09, 2017:

I know this may seem like a dumb question but in the age of emojis I want to know can I use them? Or will they be turned into some type of code on the inmates end of the message? I would hate to use up characters if they can't receive the little smiley face on their side. Thanks in advance..

prisoners resourc on June 06, 2017:

if your having trouble with the whole corrlink process we bring the inmates corrlink email straight to your phone as a text message and responding to them is as easy as responding to any other text message. google prisoners resource to find our company.

tamieka on May 25, 2017:

Inmate has tried several times to send me a request. Ive check inbox,spam,amd junk mail....nothing

Clarissa on May 23, 2017:

To make sure I understood this correctly, that only the inmates have to pay for emails.?

JACKIE MILLER on May 17, 2017:

I'm trying to login to the corrlinks account,help me!

SUSAN Vaughan on April 30, 2017:

How do add another inmate to an account that is already set up ? I already have an account thru corrlink but I am unable to add another inmate to my account .It won't let my put in the ID number / verification code of the inmate cause of active account

Dijonae on April 14, 2017:

How long does it take for inmate to be approved on their end

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