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Answered! FAQs of Prison Pen Pals

Being sentenced to prison can derail your life momentarily and take you into a direction that would potentially change the course of your life. In such a situation, it’s always good to take things in your stride and make the most of whatever life throws at you. Having pen pals is an excellent way to create new bonds whilst in prison. As unusual as this may seem, it is certainly something that you could consider while serving your sentence. It is also quite possible that you may have several questions arising in your mind. The points mentioned below will help shed some light on everything you wanted to know about pen pals in prison.

  1. Convey all relevant information at first

Breaking the ice is crucial when you’re just starting out being pen pals and therefore, your first letter should not just contain information about who you are but also things that you enjoy doing in your free time, possibly the reason why you’re serving a sentence in prison and the likes. You could speak about your childhood or something current that may have caught your attention. This makes for an excellent way to find common ground with your pen pal.

  1. Know where to draw the line:

Because you are writing to a complete stranger, it is important to understand that they may not necessarily have the same understanding as you. They may be slightly reserved or uncomfortable to talk about certain topics. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you set these boundaries right from the beginning to avoid any misunderstandings with your pen pal at a later stage. It’s best to let them know politely the topics that you’d prefer not to talk about and conversely, ask your pen pal if there is something they wouldn’t like to speak on.

  1. Know how to respond to a financial request:

Having pen pals, both inside and outside of the prison can help you have human contact, which is crucial especially when a loved one feels low while serving a sentence in prison. Additionally, certain things that a person would have otherwise taken for granted end up becoming luxury when in prison.

Whether it’s buying personal hygiene products or a simple bottle of instant coffee, these little treats can make a prisoner’s day much better. Sometimes, your pen pal may make a financial request asking you to pay for some of their needs in the prison. This largely depends on the magnanimity of the request. There is no pressure to fulfil these if it makes you uncomfortable and you must curtly but politely make this clear to your new friend. PrisonFinder can help send money or even a thoughtfully put together care package for inmates, which can be considered as an option.

  1. Do not disclose personal details to a third person:

The prison can be a difficult place to be in. Every day,you may have to cross paths with bullies who may put you loved one in a dangerous spot. If you choose to disclose this information, it is important to also let your pen pal know that you would not like this information to be disclosed to a third person, if you so desire. Similarly, if you’ve been on the receiving end of this information, you must ask your pen pal if there is any way that you can support them and offer help. It is also advisable to not take any action until your pen pal has specifically asked you to. In some cases, they may request you to get in touch with the warden or even a legislator. During these times, it is advisable to have your letters as evidence.

  1. Don’t share information that could put either of you in trouble:

While you may get close with your pen pal after sending a couple of letters to each other, it is very important to be mindful of the kind of information you share with them. This is especially true if the content in question could potentially stir up trouble by being incriminating in nature. It could cause further delay in parole hearings or even extend the period of the sentence.

Concluding Remarks:

Having a prison pen pal is a great way to learn about the way of life of people who may be starkly different from you whilst still connecting with each other in the most unusual ways. It helps you find a connection in the unlikeliest of places. These pointers mentioned above will ensure that you connect effortlessly with your pen pal and avoid pitfalls that can potentially create a rift or worse yet, create trouble for an inmate.