Merits of Inmate Pen Pals.
Not everybody dreams of being a drug addict but sometimes it happens and it goes without saying that many people who are behind bars are addicted. Moving on, there are people who are incarcerated dealing with different kinds of struggles. Spending days and nights locked in a cage is not fun at all and when there are free citizens to show these people that they matter to the society and the world at large then it will be easy to rehabilitate them. Given that the inmates will be spending time with some of the most notorious criminals in the world, it is hard for them to be influenced positively. With pen pals, the inmates will be provided with a chance to get positive influence from the people who are free. It is not a surprise for the inmates to be eager to ask if you can help them with money, send them gifts or even get legal help for them but this should not be what you sign up for, given that even the prison system prohibits such. The purpose of the relationship is to forge a friendship because it will be easier for them to trust you to the point where they can be encouraged by you and make a point of changing for the better.
Do this as a group if you are comfortable initiating the conversation alone. There are community and church projects in which members can write to inmates and the project leaders oversee the correspondences. Before you decide to forge a pen pal relationship with a particular inmate, make sure you have full disclosure of the crime they committed so that you do not have to battle your own feelings later. Do not be quick to judge people though because you may never know when your kindness and help will help someone to change for the better. Whatever you do, you should not be friends with criminals who are dangerous and have no regret for the pain and suffering they cause to the society.
Pen pal friendship turns dangerous if you get too attached to the inmate. It is not your responsibility to fix what is broken with the inmates you become pen pal friends with because they have therapists for that and you may not be emotionally built to withstand what they are going through. When you find yourself losing grip on the purpose of the friendship, it is time you sought help from a therapist or a support group. What you should remember is that not everyone locked up in the prison is evil and some of the inmates show great remorse for their wrongs which means with proper support, encouragement and help they will end up making the wrong choice.
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