The most consistent need among inmates is the need to know that someone on the "outside" cares about them. It is common for inmates to lose family members and friends as a result of their incarceration. Loneliness and a sense of abandonment is common. What is even worse and causes a long-term negative effect, however, is the loss of any positive, godly and loving reinforcement to counter the constant message from the systemic environment that each man or woman is a failure, a loser, a worthless piece of human trash. Christians may know this is not true, but unless an intentional interruption is made to offer an opposing message, inmates succumb to this ungodly life message.
Jesus said, "Whoever gives a cup of cold water to one of these... he shall certainly not lose his reward." (Matt. 10:42). Often the love of God flows through human hands. Therefore, we are recruiting an army of at least 500 PrayerPals nationwide who will agree to (1) write one short postcard per month to an inmate; and (2) contribute a minimum of $20 per month to IMR to underwrite the cost of this program. In return, the following will be provided to you:
1. IMR will supply the name and official address of an inmate for you to write.
2. IMR will provide written guidelines for this program to protect both the PrayerPal and IMR's ongoing ministry. For example, never use your home address, never promise financial or legal support, never agree to contact a 3rd party on behalf of the inmate, etc.
3. IMR will supply a postage prepaid postcard for your use with the IMR return address.
4. There is no "contract" requiring your continued participation. Though we (and the many inmates impacted by this love gift) hope you will participate for many months, you are a volunteer and may cease participating for any reason and at any time.
5. Your contact information with IMR is kept confidential and released to no one at any time for any reason whatsoever. It is used for the sole purpose of supplying you the cards and information required to participate. When an inmate responds to your postcard, IMR will link the inmate's name with yours in the privacy of our office and forward the response to you directly.
6. Following an inmate's release from incarceration, YOU must give us permission to allow them to contact you directly through IMR's intermediary email if you desire continued contact with that inmate. Even then, intermediate steps will be taken to protect you.