Ok, so just for the sake of argument....why should I consider writing to an Pagan Inmate??
In short, because they are people too. Yes, these people are in prison, and they are in prison for a reason. i am not advocating freedom or innocence by creating this page. i am, however, saying that everyone makes mistakes. Unlike most of the world seems to think, inmates are not sub-human monsters, they are people....who made some really bad choices. Yes, there are some truly Bad People in prison who should be avoided, but there are Bad People everywhere. No, writing to Inmates is not just like writing to anyone else, but it’s also a real way to offer support to someone who might really need it—more then you know.
Should you consider writing to one of my listed inmates, please consider these guidelines and bits of information.
1. Get a PO box. This is a good rule of thumb for anyone who wants to do webweaving, whether or not you write to inmates. You don’t have to use your full name if you don’t want to.
2. Please be aware that Prisoners can be very ashamed of their crime, or afraid that no one will give them a chance and judge them solely on that basis. i don’t ask my pen pals why they are in prison, but if you feel the need to know, then just be aware that this can be a reason behind any hesitation.
3. Be clear on your intentions—if you are not looking for romance, say so.
4. Some inmates will ask for help, stamps or even money. You are under no obligation to give it to them, just as you are under no obligation to give to any other pen pal. If you feel that you are being played with, you are under no obligation to continue the relationship. There are many MANY inmates who would cherish simple friendship, nothing more, don’t waste time on those who don’t (really, i would say that applies to any and all pen pal relationships...don’t waste your time on the bad eggs.)
Be aware of the amazing service you can do for another human being who can be feeling completely alone and forsaken by the world. Your letters can being light and it has been noted that pen pal contact has helped inmates feel able to deal with rehabilitation and even help them make it to parole or release.
What in the world would I SAY to an inmate?
Tell them about your day—even the most mundane details can be fascinating to a person who sees nothing but the walls of a tiny cell (Robert’s cell is only 5’x8’ total) all day. Tell them about trips you’ve taken, movies you have seen. Tell them about tv shows you watch, what you saw on the news, books you have read. Send postcards and photos—they don’t have to be of people. i always send “my criminals” postcards from every trip i take, from as many places as i can get them. It’s a big hit. While inmates, maybe even more then free people, can crave a true friendship, the experiences shared and small talk are incredibly valuable. Not to mention that these people are pagans, and would be most eager to find someone--anyone--else to talk about Pagan subjects with and learn anythign you have to teach.
Ok, that’s the end of my little preachy-speech. If anyone has any questions or concerns they’d like to go over with me, i would be more then willing to talk to you about it. Feel free to email me.
Back to the Pagan Pen Pal Page