How To Use Corrlinks to E-mail your Family & Friends
CorrLinks is the approved email system that allows federal inmates to communicate with the outside world. The Bureau of Prisons allows inmates to access the Trust Fund Limited Inmate Computer System (TRULINCS) which can send emails to friends or relatives on the outside. TRULINCS is simple enough to use but those on the outside may have more trouble. That’s why TechJunkie has put together this brief overview of how to use CorrLinks.
If you have received an email invitation from CorrLinks or want to get to grips with it so you can communicated with someone you know within the system, this tutorial is for you.
What is CorrLinks?
CorrLinks is part email and part bulletin board. Rather than being able to send emails back and forth directly like we do with other services, CorrLinks uses a relay. The inmate logs into CorrLinks to send the email and the recipient is sent a request to log into their CorrLinks account to see the message. The reader can then compose a reply using CorrLinks and the process continues.
CorrLinks is run by a private contractor who also runs TRULINCS. It is not free for the inmate to use CorrLinks but it is free for those on the outside. Fees vary depending on the facility but the average is apparently around $0.05 per minute to use TRULINCS.
When an inmate wants to contact someone on the outside, they log into CorrLinks and input the email address of the person they want to contact and the message. The system generates an email and sends it to that person on the inmate’s behalf. There is no direct or real-time contact between the two.
Using CorrLinks from the outside
If you’re outside the Bureau of Prisons, the first time someone contacts you through CorrLinks you will receive an invitation to create an account and set everything up before you can read the message. You will receive the invitation over email and will need to log into the CorrLinks system before you can begin corresponding.
If you want to get the ball rolling as you know an inmate will be contacting you, it is possible to set up a CorrLinks account in advance on this page. Ignore the inmate details until you know them. You will still be able to set up the account.
Replying to a CorrLinks request
When an inmate wants to contact you using CorrLinks, you will receive a request. It will real something like:
This is a system generated message informing you that the above-named person is a federal prisoner who seeks to add you to his/her contact list for exchanging electronic messages. There is no message from the prisoner at this time. You can ACCEPT this prisoner's request or BLOCK this individual or all federal prisoners from contacting you via electronic messaging at www.corrlinks.com. To register with CorrLinks you must enter the email address that received this notice along with the identification code below. Email Address: EMAIL ADDRESS Identification Code: 1ABC23DE This identification code will expire in 10 days.
By approving electronic correspondence with federal prisoners, you consent to have the Bureau of Prisons staff monitor the content of all electronic messages exchanged.
Once you have registered with CorrLinks and approved the prisoner for correspondence, the prisoner will be notified electronically.
For additional information related to this program, please visit the http://www.bop.gov/inmate_programs/trulincs_faq.jsp FAQ page.
There is just one thing you need from this email and that is the Identification Code. That is the system ID for the particular inmate and will be used to relay messages to them. You can follow the link to CorrLinks directly from within the email or navigate yourself.
If you have already set up a CorrLinks account, log in. If not, set one up now by selecting the Register button. Add your details into the next window. Make sure to use the same email address the inmate used to reach you and add their Identification Code at the bottom. Double check the code as this is their contact address for the purposes of using CorrLinks.
On the next screen, enter the Inmate Identification Code again and check the box next to Enable Email Alert. This will send an alert to your normal email inbox when you have a message waiting. Select Accept once done.
You will receive a verification email in your inbox from Web@CorrLinks.com. It will likely say something like ‘CorrLinks Sign Up Verification Link’. Follow the link enclosed to verify your account. Complete the Account Details form and hit Next to complete your setup.
The next screen will show you the Mailbox. It is here that most of your time with CorrLinks will be spent. You can send emails as necessary from this window. Select an inmate from the dropdown box and type your message. Hit Send when ready.
Remember, nothing is private when using CorrLinks so be mindful about what you say!