Prison Pen Pals..

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by mandyj101, Jun 27, 2010.

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  1. mandyj101

    mandyj101 Well-Known Member

    Hello all..

    Just wondered if i could get your opinions on this..

    A few weeks ago i was feeling rather lonely .. but not overly unhappy.. so i was looking into ways of meeting/interacting with people without leaving home (I have agoraphobia quite bad at the moment)

    Then i thought of possibly getting a PenPal.. as i love writing.. and receiving letters..

    I came across a Prison Pen Pal site.. and became really intrigued..
    Some of these prisoners seemed really lonely and depressed.. had been in prison for many many years.. and had no possibility of getting out anytime soon.. some appeared to be giving up on themselves.. having no family or friends to write to or call.. and so were reaching out to anyone who might want to write them..

    I looked through quite a few 'profiles' .. some wanted a 'loving' relationship .. others protested their innocence and some openly wanted donations .. some had also stated they had commited sexual crimes - all of which put me off writing to them..
    But then i came across one man who seemed very genuine about having turned his life around in prison since his 'fall' in 2000.. he has no possibility for parole or ever being let out because of the severity of his crimes either..He listed his passions in life - which were simular to mine.. and described how the depression and loneliness was really getting to him.. which i could relate to alot..
    Anyway.. i decided to write to him..
    This was about 2 weeks ago .. because i am in England and he is in the US i should think it would be a while before / if he replies..
    I didnt mentioned his crimes in the letter.. however the day after i got someone to post it.. i thought i would type his name into google.. (it would have made more sense to do this beforehand i know)
    To be honest i wish i hadnt done so .. as he is responsible for murdering 3 people.. and injuring 2 more.. in a random shooting fuelled by drugs.. which is probably very infamous considering the amount of articles i found about it!
    So now i am contemplating if i have done the right thing writing to this man..
    I probably sound very naive.. obviously they are in prison.. so the likely hood is that they have done something awful to warrent not being 'free'.. i feel i should have thought alot more about what i was getting myself into before i wrote.. but i guess it is done now..

    Would really appreciate your opinions on this..

    Thanks in advance..

    x
     
  2. Stranger1

    Stranger1 Forum Buddy & Antiquities Friend

    Hey Mandy,
    I agree you should have checked him out first.. It is always dangerous to give out your personal info..I too am agoriphobic and socialphobic, Thats probably why we get along so good...lol...I had one stalker from Africa who said she was going to move back to the states soon and wanted to meet me.. Then she started talking about getting married and having kids..I made it quite clear that I was only looking for friends..So I quit writing her and she went away..If he replies to you just don't answer him..He will go away eventually..I don't think you have anything to worry about other than him bugging you..Nothing says you have to open his letters.. You can just pitch them..Take Care!! Joseph
     
  3. Ignored

    Ignored Staff Alumni

    You could always send the letters back with a 'not known at this address'. I personally might have considered a po box so that they didn't have personal contact details but who knows, he may be ok.
     
  4. Axiom

    Axiom Account Closed

    I think you need to excersise alot more caution in the beginning of something like this. Despite the crime, there is still some respect to the person whom you are sending the letters to. It's not fair to start communication with them, and then eventually break it off. I just mean that it's different from a penpal in australia vs someone in prison for life whom has very little in their day to day lifestyle. You might find you could become a significant part of their life in some way. So.. you might be feeling down now and want to talk to them, its down the line when you feel better if you still will want to talk to him. I just mean your circumstances can change, his cannot.

    Most importantly your security, personal information that can be linked to you should be avoided in my opinon. You don't know this person or who they are affiliated with in prison. So.. Yeah.
    I would if you continue get a po box at your local post office. Saves on your home address.

    In the UK btw, you can email prisoners. The prison gets the email, reads it, prints it out and gives it to the prisoner usually that same day. Saves on postage, but decreases the time between letters. Though he would still have to write to you by post.

    Just be safe :)
     
  5. TrentGrad

    TrentGrad Well-Known Member

    If one wishes to write to someone, it may be worthwhile to consider writing a letter to a soldier who is in combat. Now mind you, this is probably something that would not be for everyone...but for the extent that some soldiers suffer from PTSD, it may be a means to write them briefly if only to let them know that we care about their sacrifice.

    Granted, it is more a possibility for those from the US, UK, Canada (until 2011) and others whose nations have troops in combat zones...and if I'm not mistaken, there may be websites which can help people connect with soldiers.

    But I agree with what some others have said: you should pepper your actions with fairness to the individual you're connecting with.
     
  6. Issaccs

    Issaccs Well-Known Member

    As it goes, he doesnt sound so bad.
    As in not leaving prison until at the very least hes old and crippeled and to be honest, a drug addict who did something that retarded is probably a lot more likely to have a lighter side than someone who planned that shit out.
     
  7. mandyj101

    mandyj101 Well-Known Member

    Thankyou for the comments..

    To be honest i'm still unsure what to do.. but hey.. i havent even received a reply yet so i should probably wait to see if i get one.. and go from there..

    Cant believe how silly i was just writing to a complete stranger.. giving him my address.. ect .. i guess i was just feeling lonely.. *sigh*

    x
     
  8. Axiom

    Axiom Account Closed

    :hug:
     
  9. Shogun

    Shogun Well-Known Member

    Mandy, I've been at the exact same stage as you. When I was younger and Agoraphobic I searched prison pen pal sites to find friends I could write too. For some reason I didn't go through with it despite seeing many people who seemed interesting. I think we're all naive when we're either young, lonely and desperate for human contact and prisoners are kind of ideal because they're locked up, usually on a different continent (I too am UK and only searched U.S. prisoners) and imprisoned within four walls like we are.

    My views and opinions on criminals have grown since then. Criminals know the risks of murdering, raping or robbing people and they choose to do it anyway. They deserve to rot without any outside contact. Prison is supposed to be a punishment.

    I understand your desperation because I've been there myself. Isn't there a website out there just for Agoraphobic pen pals? If not, there should be. It'd be ideal... as long as they have someone to get to the post box for them. There are also other pen pal websites to look into, but I know you want to connect with someone who's going through the same things you are (imprisonment.)

    Other than that, have you tried using MSN or AIM? I know it's not the same, but it's something and there's plenty of people you could find to talk to from the buddy section of this site. (<--- This last paragraph is probably academic as you already know about and use MSN, if so ignore it)

    There's a wealth of information on the internet regarding prisoners who are currently doing sentences of life without parole. Always search who you choose to interact with if you want to write to criminals. You don't want to be writing to spree killers.
     
  10. bluegrey

    bluegrey Antiquities Friend

    I agree with Trentgrad about having contact with deployed military personnel. These are young men and women who may be terribly homesick and stressed by their war zone surroundings. They are legitimately serving and sacrificing for their countries and deserve appreciation and contact.

    People in prison are human beings who can also be lonely and terribly stressed by their environment but the chances you will get involved with someone truly physically dangerous or someone looking to enrich their finances at your expense is very high. Even if you resolve yourself to never give any information that would open you up to identity theft or being stalked most of these people specialize in con games and preying on the emotionally vulnerable and will fish information out of you.

    I say run from prison pen pals because of the risk. You should just let these confined people make friends where they are and write to contacts they had before they were imprisoned.
     
  11. mulberrypie

    mulberrypie Well-Known Member

    I agree. Please be careful :hug:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2010
  12. sinnssykdom

    sinnssykdom Banned Member

    I'm pretty sure they don't give them your address... i could be wrong though. I've been to a site that does that, a friend on another forum told me about it and i decided to check it out for the heck of it. I must say it is very intriguing but i don't think i'd ever personally do it to be honest. I don't did you read the terms and service and stuff? See just how anonymous, or not anonymous you are? I suspect if they think they're a high threat they'd take extra precautions but then again everyone in prison is a threat lol so i dont know.
     
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