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Thread: How many inmates?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default How many inmates?

    I have just written to my first inmate and eventually plan to correspond with several. I'm taking it one step at a time. I'd like to get to know this first inmate before I begin adding more. I'm certain everyone has different reasons for corresponding with inmates and have decided how many with whom to correspond. I'm curious about how many and why that number.

    With how many inmates do you correspond?

    How did you decide on that number? (What factors govern the number of inmates with whom you correspond?)

    Have you corresponded with more in the past?

    Do you plan to correspond with more in the future?

    If you no longer correspond with some inmates, what event(s) brought the correspondence to a close?

    Have you written to inmates who never responded?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How many inmates?

    I currently write to two friends. One, I write to four to six times a week. The other, I write to once a week or every other week. The former and I are closer, obviously.

    The most I wrote to at one time was three and that was two too many. I couldn't remember what I wrote to who and became confused as to what I said to who. Thankfully, one dropped off because he started talking about killing, stabbing, and, in general, was very angry. I told him I was uncomfortable with hearing about these types of things and his letters brought more stress than good. In fact, I began dreading receiving a letter from him as he would go off about another inmate, his co-worker, his cellmate, his boss. Talking about what a jerk (he used a different word) his cellmate was because his cellmate would not share any food with him. Gee, I wonder why? He would literally rant in every letter. I wrote to him and said I felt uncomfortable with his letters and he wrote back and said he didn't think I was the one for him. Okay, good, I thought. He then wrote another letter a few weeks later saying he regretted ending it so quickly and he wanted to start writing again. I responded with a letter saying I didn't think we were a good fit and I had began writing a friend with whom I lost track of during his move to a different facility and, in the interim, also began corresponding with another friend. So, two pen pals were enough for me. His next letter was scathing and talked about my looks and my insecurities, the two chumps I was writing, and that he didn't remove his profile from wap because of me, but because he was receiving too many letters and couldn't keep up. My "insecurities" was referring to my telling him that I would not buy food packages for him as I wanted my pen pals to like me for me, not my money. He had dropped hints at packages by sending me brochures (twice) of what inmates can purchase. Thankfully, I've not heard from him since. I did respond to that letter by saying I was nothing but kind to him and do not write anymore as I would refuse his letters.

    He wrote that many women wrote him, but they often stopped, for no apparent reason. The reason was apparent to me. After 6 weeks he said "I love you". I think this, in conjunction with the brochures, was his way of grooming me to support him. No way I would do this. He has been incarcerated for 23 years and I believe this has worked for him in the past. I'm glad to be done with him. We wrote for about 2 months. He has a life sentence.

    It is easy for me to write the two I have now as each relationship is different and so it is easy to keep it straight--what I've said to whom. In the future, though, I would not want to write more than one.

    I've written four total and of the four, one was difficult. The others were nothing but kind and didn't ask for anything. Two friendships ended and both ended on a good note, no bad words spoken. In fact, one dropped off and after a year's absence, we've begun writing again.

    I read on wap that one person was writing 25 at once! Another poster commented that was too many and maybe it wasn't fair to those incarcerated as they were probably not getting full attention or receiving generic letters.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How many inmates?

    I was thinking of eventually corresponding with perhaps four or five inmates -- but definitely planned to take it slowly -- only adding a new PP once I felt comfortable and acquainted with the previous and only adding a new PP if I felt I could handle the additional load. Based on what I've read here on WAP, I had the impression that each letter exchange could take anywhere from two to four weeks or maybe even longer.

    SJC, your post seems to indicate that the exchanges happen much more quickly. That would definitely be a factor in deciding how many inmates I would feel comfortable corresponding with -- I would not want to feel rushed or that I needed to dash off a letter because I had too many to write.

    Regardless, I believe my plan of taking it slowly and not adding more PPs until I'm comfortable with those I already have is very good idea indeed.

    SJC, I truly appreciate your response and insight.

    Thank you.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How many inmates?

    The friend I write most frequently just got moved to ad seg and, interestingly enough, my letters reach him quicker than when he wasn't housed in ad seg. We are both in California and so that probably helps. Now that he is in ad seg, the letters take four days from my door to his. When he wasn't in seg, it seemed they would take 6-7 days. I believe it is because there are less people in ad seg and so less mail to process. The facility he is in houses 6000 inmates!

    I had another friend in Northern California and his letters would also take four days to reach him. His facility was smaller and he wasn't in seg. He was then moved to a different facility and still, four days.

    Letters could take longer for many reasons. Maybe the inmate works, doesn't have money for postage, doesn't have writing materials, is having a difficult time and doesn't feel like writing. My friend that was sent to ad seg could not write for weeks because when they moved him, they took all his property and put it in storage. It was days later when they hand picked what they wanted to give him and those items did not include the stamps, envelopes, and paper I had provided him. Also, he didn't feel like writing much due to the move. He somehow borrowed a blank sheet of paper and wrote to tell me of the move. For me, of the inmates I've written to consistently (four) three had jobs which lasted 6-7 hours each day. The friend who has consistently written most often (three letters each week) is the one who did not have a job and was in his cell most of the day. Thus, he had more time.

    I have been writing inmates for exactly two years now. I have come out of it with two great friends and knowledge about what it is to write someone who is incarcerated.

    I think you will find great satisfaction in writing an inmate. The reason I started is because I love to write and thought I might provide a laugh or two and brighten someone's day, if only for the two or three minutes it takes for them to read my letters. In the end, I've found that they've done more for me than I ever expected.

    One is hoping to be released in a few years. I just wrote a letter of support for him and sent it to the board as he has a review this month. He is expected to stay in California for at least a year. I plan on continuing our friendship when he is released. The other is serving a 60 year sentence and, most likely, will never be released. He is 41 years old and is up for parole when he is about 70. I just filled out the visiting application form this week. I hope to visit in October as it takes about a month to get approved and then a week or two to schedule the appointment. Unfortunately, the visit will be behind glass and only an hour as he is the one who is in ad seg.

    Did I read in another post that you sent your first letter today?

    Let me know how it goes. And good luck, I think you will enjoy this.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How many inmates?

    SJC,

    I send my first letter on Sat 12 Aug -- I'm sure it has made it as far as the local postoffice and will sit there until some time Monday.

    The account you provide regarding your experience with corresponding with inmates is very encouraging.

    Thank you.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How many inmates?

    Quote Originally Posted by mensasnem View Post
    I have just written to my first inmate and eventually plan to correspond with several. I'm taking it one step at a time. I'd like to get to know this first inmate before I begin adding more. I'm certain everyone has different reasons for corresponding with inmates and have decided how many with whom to correspond. I'm curious about how many and why that number.

    With how many inmates do you correspond?
    = With 3 death row inmates

    How did you decide on that number? (What factors govern the number of inmates with whom you correspond?)
    = I began with one, then I decided to write to another and one came to me by accident. ;-) Through a friend's friend. :-)

    Have you corresponded with more in the past?
    Yes, one more.

    Do you plan to correspond with more in the future?
    No, 3 are enough now. One contact is very intensive and so I wouldn't have enough time for another.

    If you no longer correspond with some inmates, what event(s) brought the correspondence to a close?
    One of my guys in the past quit our contact, because of a woman in his life. She doesn't want him to have contact to other females...

    Have you written to inmates who never responded?
    Yes, two never answered.
    I hope, I could answer the questions. ;-)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How many inmates?

    Quote Originally Posted by mensasnem View Post
    SJC,

    I send my first letter on Sat 12 Aug -- I'm sure it has made it as far as the local postoffice and will sit there until some time Monday.

    The account you provide regarding your experience with corresponding with inmates is very encouraging.

    Thank you.
    Good luck! I hope you will enjoy the contact!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How many inmates?

    Thank you.

    You answered my questions well. I appreciate the kind of information you provided. It gives me a clearer picture of what to expect.

    I certainly hope it goes well, but if it doesn't, I'll just move on to another PP.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How many inmates?

    With how many inmates do you correspond? 5 - 1 in Maryland, 2 in California, 1 in Texas and 1 in Arizona

    How did you decide on that number? (What factors govern the number of inmates with whom you correspond?) I actually initially wrote to 3 and did not expect a response. A month later all 3 of them responded. I picked up the other 2 through a friend and through the prison talk forum in the Elsa's inmate card swap forum.

    Have you corresponded with more in the past? I have had 3 in my life for almost 3 years and the other 2 for almost a year now.

    Do you plan to correspond with more in the future? I think 5 is enough for now.

    If you no longer correspond with some inmates, what event(s) brought the correspondence to a close?

    Have you written to inmates who never responded? Yes i wrote to 2 inmates that never responded but at that time, I had already had 3 so it didn't bother me.

  10. #10
    aus_kitten Guest

    Default Re: How many inmates?

    I am writing to 2 lovely guys...both in Texas, but different facilities. The first one has just been moved from Navasota to Beaumont because of the issues of the no air con for the inmates etc. and the other is at Hondo but it requesting to be transferred to Indiana where he has family.

    I am being honest when I say I was completely shocked at how happy my letters have made them. They have both said I have given them hope for the future and thanked me for opening my heart to them and that they do mean something to someone outside of their immediate families. The way they've both expressed their gratitude has had me in tears.

    It would be great to be able to visit them but being in Australia, it would take a lot of organising and cost a fair bit of $$$$. Hopefully one day, though

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