Thursday, August 25

Writing Behind Bars

Hello all!
I am writing this after having read and digested the latest Sandbook e-magazine.  I actually got to look through it this last weekend.  There were several articles but one caught my interest and was written by an inmate about people pen palling with inmates.  I found it very thought provoking and it made me ask myself- why have I not explored this avenue of mail?  Why do I buy into the perceived stigmas attached to this activity?  Would it make a difference to the person I corresponded to? 
Many questions in my mind and I also think of the documentary - What Do I Want My Words to Do You? which is about teaching writing to long term female convicts.  The thing most striking about the women is their humanity.  Many did horrendous crimes to land them in jail, but they were still people struggling to make themselves better.  Trying to work out where exactly life went wrong or coming to terms with their possible demise behind bars.  I actually wished I could write to one in particular something in her touched me, but at the time I considered it a fleeting thought.  Has anybody in my reading community had experience with this form of pen palling experience?  It would be lovely to hear more on the topic from people with experience. 

Still contemplating,


  1. An interesting and extremely well written article by Don Gerhart. I've never thought of pen palmanship in this form before. I think I'm biased though because I live in such a violent and criminally fuelled country, where the justice system is in the crapper. So I guess it scares me. But good luck with your contemplating. It is certainly a different side of the letter writing coin.

  2. I've been wanting to write to inmates for years but have never actually done it. I should!