General Prison Talk Discuss New with a couple questions please..... in the Prison Related forums; Hello Everyone.... I discovered this site a few days ago and am anxious to give this a try yet feel ...
New with a couple questions please.....
Hello Everyone.... I discovered this site a few days ago and am anxious to give this a try yet feel myself being cautious per that little voice in my head.... Couple questions: I'm in the US and if I choose to write someone who is in prison for life I should still use a PO Box?? Actually, I think I just answered my own question, it's probably safer.
This brings me to my next question.... When I did a search I clicked 'life sentences' but when I read the info at the bottom of the inmates profile, some of these 'life sentences' have a 'earliest release date' within a couple years and I don't understand that... Any thoughts?
Also, in their 'greeting' some have said regarding murder 'I was there when it happened but I didn't do it' then at the bottom it says 'capital murder' or 'murder'.... Which one is the truth? Meaning, some of the crimes described by the inmate differ than what is at the bottom.... Thoughts??
I am NOT into trying this for romance.... I am very happily married.... I just have some free time, I'm already pen pals w/a person in Australia (not an inmate), came across this site and thought 'why not?'.... Do I say very specifically in my first letter that it is only for friendship?
How do you deal w/conflicting feelings?.... While I feel somewhat sorry for some w/life sentences I also feel very sorry for their victims.. Any thoughts?
Thanks so much for any ideas, thoughts, advice you could give someone new to this.
Hi Penny, Im new(ish) on here too and had the same questions as you, I found it helped to read back through the forum at older posts and found most answers there. I personally think a PO box is a good idea but everyone has different views, I guess its what u feel happy with I found it useful to do a quick basic search on the PP I was interested in, typed their name in google, found out some basic stuff but to be honest it didnt change my mind on writing to them, so not sure why I did it really? Well anyway, I wish you well with whatever you decide, Emma
Hi Penny Yeah I agree with Emma here. Just follow your gut reaction, would be my advice, perhaps pen a letter and then sleep on it, and when it comes to posting it, you'll either feel ok about it, or you wont
Hi Penny - and welcome to the world of writing those incarcerated.
My advice would be to get a PO Box regardless of the sentence type - just at first until you get to know the person a little. I would also definitly (but casually) state in the initial letter that you are only looking for a friendship. Mention that you are married (don't need to give anything other then a passing mention - no specifics required) and also write as you have written here the reason for writing them (you are intrigued and have some spare time on your hands - I told my pal that I was "dared" to write to him and didn't mind one bit). You can't go wrong with being honest and that way you will ween out the bad ones - seems it's the good way to do things on our side of the wall as well! You don't have to feel sorry for the person you write to - I think that if someone is a decent person they wouldn't want your sympathy. And writing to them doesn't mean that you are disrespecting the victim either. I always say there are 2 types of people in the world - those that get off on doing wrong by others and those that have done wrong by others. I know I have done some pretty ****ty things to people in my life - but I certainly didn't enjoy it and it doesn't make me a bad person....
Initially when writing to an inmate, it's a good idea to leave a po box address, then if you feel comfortable leaving your home address, you can do that. I did leave a po box at first until I felt comfortable enough to leave my residential.
It would be in your best interest to do a search on the inmates record online for more info. If the inmate is in a state facility, their record should be available to view. If they are in a federal prison, you may need to write to the institution to get their info, as it's probably not published online for public viewing. I checked out my pp's record before I even wrote to him.
You can call the facility where they are located to get a general understanding of their crime when it comes to "capital" murder - also I'm sure you will get responses from others on this forum who can clarify better than I can.
I can just say that it is very very easy to get emotionally connected to an inmate and not just romantically. A lot of people who post on this forum care deeply for their pp and are not romantically involved at all. All I can say is that if you don't believe you can be there to support them through any good and bad, than maybe take some time to ask yourself why you are interested in writing an incarcerated person. Someone a few days/weeks ago wrote that their pp on death row was getting closer to their "date" and how emotionally hard it was going through it with him. These types of things I'm sure you think you are prepared to face, but can never really be.
Finally, if you have no interest in getting involved with your pp, then by all means let them know in the first letter! No all of them are looking for that "special" someone, but a lot of them are, so make your intentions clear from the get go. However, I did the same thing and have been struggling with the possibility of a "relationship" with my current pp and never in a billion years thought I would be in that position (just look up any threat from the last week or so that I started! Talk about emotional!)
Well, good luck and I hope you and your future pp enjoy eachother's correspondence. I know I do!
Oh and if you are confused by the information - just write and ask them. I am sure they have some interesting stories they can tell. You can also click on the website for where they are incarcerated (located at the bottom of each ad) and put in the prison number and name and do a search on their sentences there - most prison websites let you do that. You can also go one further and google search their name and see what news articles you find on them - that's always fun!
For me personally, i knew nothing about this whole pp experience like i have said before so i went in kinda blind. But what i will say is it has changed my life forever. Here i was thinking i might "put a smile on a once unsmiling face "(in his words) I have really had my eyes open to so many things. He is a lifer without parole and has another 45 years to go. I did not look up and have not looked up ANYTHING about his past because i personally believe that is exactly what that is THE PAST, i talk and treat him the way i would anyone else that i was to meet on this journey we call life. So many people have made judgements in the past reguarding there life and i honestly don't want my name added to that list. I personally don't need to know who they were before, thats is not the person you would probably get to know now as i'm sure time changes most of us as does our experiences. Anyway i'm starting to rave, i just think a friendship any friendship needs to be built on trust. Hope it all works out for you and be honest up front.
Never grow a wishbone, daughter,
where your backbone ought to be.
Hey All.... Just wanted to drop a thank you for all the responses to my OP.... Each of you gave me help in some way and I appreciate it.... I'll let you know if anything exciting develops.... Take good care.
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