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Thread: Hello - have a question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    2

    Default Hello - have a question

    Hi all,

    I wrote my first inmate a couple of months ago, in mid September. I'm a male and a sophomore in college. I did a lot of research before starting and got a PO box. Wrote a second inmate a week after I sent my first letter, knowing that it might take a while for the first person I wrote to obtain paper, a stamp, etc. if they wanted to write back. A month goes by - nothing. I write a third inmate and wait another month, nothing from anyone (all were women). All of my first letters were about the same - gave my first and middle names, a bit about myself, told them why I chose to write them specifically, and asked them a couple of questions. I found that last two inmates on WAP, but I picked the first from a state DOC website (in one of the states where you can search the inmates without needing a name and number - race or ethnicity, age, gender, etc). This PTO thread prompted me to do that: http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=295091

    The thing is I closed/returned my PO box a couple of weeks ago. Did I do it too soon? If so, is there anything I can/should do?

    Thanks - I've learned a great deal from reading past threads on this site about how to do this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Hello - have a question

    Just picking someone randomly could have been why you didn't hear from the first pen pal. They may have a partner who doesn't want them writing others or they may not have been interested in writing a stranger. I would just forward your mail if you are in the US. That way if something happened and someone wants to write you will still get the letter and you can make the decision if you want a new PO box to continue communication. You can forward your mail online or just go to the post office.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    ..............
    Posts
    749
    Sporadium's: Snobbish

    Default Re: Hello - have a question

    Hi Farley,

    The duration needed for a reply is dependent on many things, perhaps the two being your location and the institution where the prisoner is - some take long to get letters in and out than others. Then, of course, the prisoner might have no stamps for a while or have found themselves in trouble in there. I would have expected to get a letter back within ten weeks though.

    It might be that the inmates you wrote got sacks of mail and became particularly picky. This is completely my own assumption so maybe I am very wrong, but I get a feeling that you being in college may not be want many women prisoners want in a penpal. I don't say it to be a d**k, even though I know I am one, I say it because I think women might prefer to write to older men. This is based on nothing more than my impression and my assumption that you are a 20 year old college student - which might be as wrong as my profile picture - I know not.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Hello - have a question

    Quote Originally Posted by xxFREYAxx View Post
    Just picking someone randomly could have been why you didn't hear from the first pen pal. They may have a partner who doesn't want them writing others or they may not have been interested in writing a stranger. I would just forward your mail if you are in the US. That way if something happened and someone wants to write you will still get the letter and you can make the decision if you want a new PO box to continue communication. You can forward your mail online or just go to the post office.
    True...I was kind of intrigued (probably not the right word) by the whole "inmates have nowhere to go and no one" thing. I was starting to second guess that as I wrote that first letter. I don't understand how/why an inmate's family would desert them, as is apparently the case with some inmates (especially those who don't have the means to get an ad posted, apparently) who are all alone. I never thought that hearing your name at mail call would have such an effect as it apparently does. I'll look into getting my mail forwarded.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sporadium View Post
    Hi Farley,

    The duration needed for a reply is dependent on many things, perhaps the two being your location and the institution where the prisoner is - some take long to get letters in and out than others. Then, of course, the prisoner might have no stamps for a while or have found themselves in trouble in there. I would have expected to get a letter back within ten weeks though.

    It might be that the inmates you wrote got sacks of mail and became particularly picky. This is completely my own assumption so maybe I am very wrong, but I get a feeling that you being in college may not be want many women prisoners want in a penpal. I don't say it to be a d**k, even though I know I am one, I say it because I think women might prefer to write to older men. This is based on nothing more than my impression and my assumption that you are a 20 year old college student - which might be as wrong as my profile picture - I know not.
    The first inmate I wrote to is in a neighboring state, the second is on the same coast but many hours away, and the third is clear across the country, thousands of miles away. The first inmate I wrote to was in and out of jail for disorderly conduct and battery, so maybe she got in trouble. Maybe the two WAP inmates I wrote to got a lot of mail, but it seems that men write to women a lot less than vice versa? Maybe they did prefer older men, but I made sure that the WAP inmates I wrote to didn't leave anything open in their ads for dating. Both of them are young, too.

    I'll have my mail forwarded and hope for the best.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    495

    Default Re: Hello - have a question

    I know for me in the beginning, even though my intentions were pure, I think I came off a little too eager. The first person I wrote I saw on a crime TV show and I didn't hear anything back. The second person I wrote ignored my letter completely and passed it over to someone else in the prison which kind of ticked me off. I didn't give up and now I have a few I have been writing since 2013. My suggestion would be to include some humor in your initial responses. I hear back almost immediately when I go that route and then its a matter of connecting or not. In all honesty, I think the dates you mentioned are ample time for someone to write back, if they so choose. You didn't mention where you got the PO Box. USPS is pretty good about mail fwding. Places like the USPS store will not do it. There are rare exceptions. One of my happiest moments in receiving correspondence was when the store called me down to pick up a letter and my box had been closed. It was from someone that had their case overturned with the help of the Innocence Project and very shortly after they were released after serving nearly 20 years.

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