Some Common Sense
You should use a Post Office Box. Never give out your address. And never give out your phone number. If you don't have a P.O. Box, church address, school address or some other institutional address to use as a postal address, then pick an inmate several states away from you.
Never use your last name. Use your first and middle name. Or use a "nickname".
Never talk about family or work in a way that will give specific information for anyone to find. Keep your conversations on religious and life changing subjects.
Never send them anything. If they are true to their word, the greatest reward is a letter. If they try to get stamps, money or a package, etc., out of you, let them know that if they try again, you will terminate the pen pal relationship. Let them know up front that you did not put them in prison and you did not give birth to them. They are not your responsibility.
Do not get sexual. Do not allow them to talk sexual. Let them know up front that if they go in that direction, you will terminate the relationship. If they want to communicate with you and receive letters from you, they must be responsible with their language and attitudes. If they start to get mean, manipulative or controlling, it is time to break away.
To familiarize yourself with what inmates are thinking, we ask that you read our "Newsletter" section. Read the responses from the inmates and learn how this little ministry is changing their lives. This will help you to understand where they are comingfrom and how you can be a part of that change. You will find great satisfaction in being a pen-pal with an inmate. Inmates are human, just like you and me. Mistakes have been made, but most want to change their lives. God can use you as an instrument for Him in that purpose.
If you do not get any response from an inmate, please let me know so I can delete him/her from our file.
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