I have received a number of requests asking how to set up an account to email Pennsylvania inmates. Here are the step by step instructions so that you can set up an account in about 10 minutes. It is much easier to accomplish on a laptop or desktop computer, although I am told that it can also be done using a smartphone.
Using your browser, (chrome works very well, but so do most browsers), go to www.connectnetwork.com and on the top right side of the page, click “create account”. Then select the state…”Pennsylvania”…and then select the facility…”PA Dept of Corrections” (for state correctional facilities)… or whichever specific county facility housing your inmate.
Next, add the inmate name or DOC Number, click search and add your inmate to your account. That will bring you to a “Profile Page”, where you add your name, address and email information and create your user name and password, and also create a security question and answer. You must then check the box that you agree with the terms and conditions and click “Confirm”. That will generate an email sent to the email account that you provided; open that email and click “Get Started”.
Now you will be guided to enter the facility name again, or if not, it will take you to the page to enter the facility name and your inmate name or DOC Number; find the name and you will confirm it is the correct name and DOC #. That will take you to the “Buy Credits” page for that particular facility; you can choose to buy 4, 20, or 40 credits at a time…the cost is only 25 cents each credit. You will input a credit or debit card to be charged for this purchase and future purchases. You can change or delete this card information in the future if you wish.
Once you have purchased your credits, you are now set up to send your first email. Just go to “messaging” (left side), then on that page, click on “compose”…select a contact (inmate) from the drop down list, enter a title for your new email…then type your email message in the big box; the limit is 2000 characters including spacing (about 300-400 words). HINT: the “compose box” times out in about 5 minutes, and you lose everything you typed in and you have to start all over again…so I usually type my message in a separate regular word document and then copy and paste it to the “compose box”. Finally, check the box that you agree to the terms and conditions, and click send.
Your message has now been sent, and you can find a copy of it if you wish in the messaging section tab “sent”, and you can copy and paste that to a word document to save for future reference. You will receive an email from the Facility saying that your message was approved and will be forwarded to the inmate, and you will receive an email when your inmate sends you an email. Usually messages are forwarded within 24 hours, often the same day if sent in the morning hours. Then when you receive an email notification, log on to www.connectnetwork.com with the user name and password that you chose when opening the account, go to messaging…inbox…and enjoy!
By Rick DiLaurenzo, Founder and Editor