Of course there is no doubt that some prisoners may be very lonely, and you could make their day by writing to them. But is this your motivation? Great, if it is (and very admirable too), but I suspect that too many people looking for prison pen pals are looking for a flirtation with the darker side of life. They seek some kind of thrill by talking directly to a real person who has committed a crime, rather than being one step further away by enjoying crime reports on TV or crime fiction.
This is not true of everyone seeking prison pen pals of course, so don't feel insulted if it does not apply to you. I am merely looking at the reasons why someone will specifically look for prisoner pen pals as opposed to general population penpals.
For those who are knowingly seeking the thrill of flirting with danger by seeking a prison pal one has to ask how successful they are going to be (even if leaving aside how healthy this approach is). By far most people in prison are there for petty crimes such as stealing from their employer, repeated car theft, breaking and entering, and so on. Just how thrilling would it be to know someone who has committed such crimes, I have to ask.
There is also the issue of how far the expectations of the seeker of prison pen pals matches up to the expectations of those prisoners themselves who would like to correspond with people on the outside. Most prisoners want nothing more than to finish their prison sentence, get out and start a new life. They are looking for friendships that they can continue on the outside. They want to put their past misdemeanours behind them and not spend their time talking about their crimes. This may or may not match up with the motivations of those specifically seeking inmate or prisoner pen pals.
So, in conclusion, if you are determined to look for prison pen pals then you must be clear why, as well as taking into account the needs and expectations of prisoners themselves.
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Prison pen pals sites for further research:
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