While society at large has social media to thank for new friendships, relationships, insights and perspectives, prison inmates are doomed to total social exclusion, not only physical but psychological as well. Friendship, community, and a sense of belonging is what human beings crave for, and prisoners should not be deprived of that.
Satisfying an inmate’s need to reconnect with friends, family, and society at large plays a huge role in their rehabilitation. Responding to an inmate penpal request helps lift a prisoner’s spirit and improve their overall mindset. Browse the inmate penpal profiles and see if you can help make someone’s day in prison a bit more bearable.
Prisons are not country clubs and the average prison does not serve simply as a vacation spot for criminals. In fact, life inside is difficult and dangerous. Prison inmates’ isolation from society might make us sleep better at night, but the truth is that our justice system and sentencing laws need major reform. The First Step Act of 2018 is the most significant criminal justice reform legislation in years. The new legislation aims to ease very punitive prison sentences at the federal level, but it only affects the federal inmates which is a small but significant fraction of the US jail and prison population of over two million.
Being a penpal to someone in prison can change perspectives and ease suffering. Many prison inmates never used a smartphone, tablet, or computer yet today’s digital society cannot function without them. Most prisoners will be released into a foreign digital world, a world that has changed by leaps and bounds in the years they spent ‘inside’, and the prison system does little to prepare them for that. Would you help a prison penpal understand the new world we live in?
Life without friends, in society at large, can be lonely but in prison it can be unbearable. You can bring some dignity to an inmate’s life behind bars when they hear their name at “mail call”. A letter, be it from family, friends, or new penpals, reinforces inmate’s connection with the outside world and restores their sense of self-worth.
He who opens a school door, closes a prison. – Victor Hugo
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