Chicagoland Region of Narcotics Anonymous

Writing Behind The Walls

The primary purpose of this committee is to provide written Narcotics Anonymous step guidance to any incarcerated addict desiring recovery with Narcotics Anonymous

Welcome to Writing Steps for Recovery

This packet is to introduce you to the WSR Sub-Committee of the Chicagoland Region. We have compiled this information to help you learn what the responsibilities and roles of each committee member are, as well as give you examples of the forms we use. The WSR Guidelines and the Coordinating Secretary Duties are included. We hope you will find Writing Steps for Recovery to be a rewarding experience and that you enjoy your journey. The WSR Sub-Committee



A. All letters will be sent via the WSR 1126 N. Maple Ave, Lagrange, IL, 60526 with no personal last names, addresses, or phone numbers of step guides, committee members, or anyone else, given to the inmate (step writer). Step guides will use pen names or first names only, decided upon by the step guide. “Correspondence Only” agreements with signatures of step guide will be filed with the WSR Committee.
B. Step guides from the WSR Committee will have an individual addict (step writer) assigned in the order that the step guides have qualified and become available. The Step guides and the Step writers will be of the same sex.
C. After the initial letter is read by the coordinating secretary or by the committee, all correspondence between the step guide and the step writer will be confidential.
D. The Coordinating Secretary will log in all incoming and outgoing letters by date, with name and facility of the step writer as well as the step guides information.
E. Only inmates being incarcerated for a length of 4 months or more will be assigned a step guide due to the turn-around time of the correspondence.
F. NO arrangements for RIDES, VISITS, LOANS, PHONE calls, MATERIALS FOR CORRESPONDING, PHOTOS, BOOKS, DRAWINGS, TAPES, CONTACTING OF FAMILY MEMBERS OR FRIENDS, will be made between the step guide and the step writer.
G. The 12 Traditions of Narcotics Anonymous will be strictly upheld. H. All rules and regulations of the FACILITY will be strictly upheld.
I. Only women will write to women, and only men will write to men.
J. The committee will meet quarterly at the Regional Committee Meeting at 1:00 p.m.
K. Any inmate who thinks they have a problem with addiction may write the WSR Committee with any recovery related questions or concerns at any time.
L. Presentations to the fellowship and to the facilities will include the WSR Statement of Purpose as well as the above 11 guidelines. WSR will be offered at institutions only after the Institution has received our information, accepted this information, has agreed to allow this type of correspondence, and has conveyed this agreement in writing.


WSR-1126 N. Maple Ave,LaGrange,IL,60526



Dear                                                                                     :

The Writing Steps for Recovery Committee has received your letter asking for help in finding recovery.We are currently in the process of getting a committee’s Step Guide to respond to your letter. Since addicts on theoutside are able to choose a sponsor to help them work the steps of Narcotics Anonymous, our committee has come up with an anonymous way for a Step Guide to help you work these steps until you are released and able to find a sponsor.

All of the committee’s Step Guides have shared with this committee their commitment to their NA based recovery. They have stated they work all their steps in writing and have completed at least the first 5 steps with anNA sponsor. They are asked to have a minimum of 2 years clean and attend NA meetings on a regular basis.

The process of the WSR committee is that mail is collected at the post office, mailed to our coordinating secretary who will send it to your Step Guide. The Step Guide is to respond to your letter within a two weekperiod after they receive it. The first letter from you is read in order to find a Step Guide, but future letters are strictly confidential and sent directly to your Step Guide. It is important that you understand that every letter between you and your Step Guide will be subject to your facilities rules regarding review of mail. Contact with your Step Guide will be limited to writing only and cannot include requests for photos, drawings, pictures, massages to others, phone calls, rides, visits, and will not include damaging personal information. We are boundby the 12 Traditions of NA as well as the rules of your facility. We can assure you that the Step Guide will be of the same gender as yourself and will have no knowledge or acquaintance with you prior to your incarceration.Anonymity will be followed by the Step Guide using a pen name or first name only and will not be giving out personal contact information. Once you are released from your facility, contact through our


committee will end. Please feel free to write the WSR Committee regarding any questions or concerns about the relationship with your Step Guide, or if you feel your needs are not being met. Be sure to make this letter to theattention of the Committee and not your Step Guide. As those on the outside have the option to make changes with sponsors, you also have that option as well, in regard to your Step Guide. We have many willing addicts that would like to help you grow in recovery with the Narcotics Anonymous steps. Please be patient and someone will respond to you again in the near future. If you have not heard anything from your Step Guide within a month, please contact us again.







Enclosed you will find a letter received by the Writing Steps for Recovery Committee from a new inmate requesting a Step Guide. Your contact’s name is                                                         and their address is:

Please remember to use only the name you picked and gave to the Coordinating Secretary whenyou signed your orientation packet so we can be sure to get the letter to the correct Step Guide as soon as possible.

Remember to abide by the guidelines concerning your anonymity and personal information, aswell as not sending stamps, literature or money, etc. These guideline restrictions are inaccordance with the facility regulations as well as the committee’s decisions.


In following our guidelines we ask that you respond to your new contact within 2 weeks which will be due:

                                                                                                       . Please mail back the postcard enclosed with the date you mailed your response to your new step writer. If you have anyquestions and need further information, or have any changes or comments for the WSR Committee, please note this on the postcard also.

We thank you for your 12th step work with your step writer and the Writing Steps for Recovery Committee.