Inmates housed in a federal prison are allowed phone calls, emails, letters and packages by going directly through the prison where the inmate is housed. Inmates may place outgoing calls, but family or friends are free to write letters or send emails to incarcerated loved ones. Packages must have prior approval and there may be restrictions on items allowed in the packages.
For people who wish to build a friendship with an inmate, there are organizations such as writeaprisoner.com that allow anyone older than 18 to review profiles of inmates and contact them via postal mail. The site allows users to view the inmates crime and possible release date, religious preferences, age and any other information the inmate makes public to the site.