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Writing To A Convict

Has anybody ever written to somebody in prison they didn't know in person?

I have written a letter to someone who I feel is not innocent in general but is innocent of what they have been sentenced for, furthermore when the crime was committed they were young yet tried as an adult which was controversial at the time.

On top of that when this person was first interviewed they had no lawyer and as they were young it would have been easier for the detectives to get this person to say certain things.

Lastly they had a very troubled and turbulent life from day 1, all of these things seem to have bee ignored and so I feel they have been dealt a great injustice. I think writing to this person will at least give them some level of contentment as life must be pretty hellish and mundane to say the least. The prison system also does not do much to help rehabilitate criminals, it merely locks them away from society, especially considering the age at when this person was tried I feel they should have been room for rehabilitation and reform.

I am a bit cautious of leaving a return address though, this is my only hang up. I do not know if I like the idea of my address floating around a prison system even if I do move around myself a lot.

Comments

  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran Colorado...for now Veteran
    Search this out on the internet. There are a number of organizations that handle this type of correspondence, and they provide warnings and recommendations, as well.
  • ThailandTomThailandTom Veteran Veteran
    vinlyn said:

    Search this out on the internet. There are a number of organizations that handle this type of correspondence, and they provide warnings and recommendations, as well.

    Yea I found a website a few days ago that also is putting up petitions for a re-trial, the site gave an address for postage and mentioned what could and could and could not be sent.
  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran Colorado...for now Veteran
    Have you thought of visiting Western prisoners at a Thai facility? I know it has been done, but I don't know much else about it.
  • ThailandTomThailandTom Veteran Veteran
    I have seen it been done on a documentary about Thai prisons, it is like being at a zoo almost. There is a 2 metre gap with bars on each side, one side has inmates and the other visitors. It is often outdoors as well and everybody is shouting as it is in a line formation, so nothing is really ever private. Kinda crazy tbh, but it is a crazy country so...

    I think I am going to send the letter tomorrow anyway and see what becomes of it, I expect this person has a few letters at least but I just want them to know people do care and society has not shunned them,because I am sure that is probably how they feel.
  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran
    Oh, I read the subject header and assumed you were attempting to correspond with myself and the other Aussies on this site ;)
    vinlynThailandTomTheEccentric
  • betaboybetaboy Veteran Veteran
    vinlyn said:

    Have you thought of visiting Western prisoners at a Thai facility? I know it has been done, but I don't know much else about it.

    Why are they in prison? I thought that wasn't allowed, if you're not a local the rules are that you should be deported and not held? Maybe thai laws are different.
  • betaboybetaboy Veteran Veteran
    Bunks said:

    Oh, I read the subject header and assumed you were attempting to correspond with myself and the other Aussies on this site ;)

    An Aussie embassy guy asked me whether I had a criminal record. I replied, "No. Do I need one to enter?"
    Bunks
  • ThailandTomThailandTom Veteran Veteran
    betaboy said:

    vinlyn said:

    Have you thought of visiting Western prisoners at a Thai facility? I know it has been done, but I don't know much else about it.

    Why are they in prison? I thought that wasn't allowed, if you're not a local the rules are that you should be deported and not held? Maybe thai laws are different.
    Are you being serious lol? If you get for a crime in Thailand you can expect to serve the time here. However if you are from the US or EU then you serve some of the sentence here and then the rest back home.

    Get caught trafficking drugs in places like Singapore or Malaysia you can expect a life sentence or the death penalty depending on what the drug is.

    Anyway the person I intend to write to is in the US in Nashville TN
  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran Veteran
    Yes, I began a correspondence with someone in prison. Quite a lengthy one. My mother had a prison ministry until her health simply got in the way and asked me to write to one woman who was taking classes in prison.

    There's really no one type of person in prison. About the only thing you can be certain of is, the person is desperate for human contact with the outside world and in most cases needs care packages and money. In the women's prison here in the "civilized world" the prison didn't provide sanitary napkins to the women. If the prisoner didn't have the money to buy them, tough. And of course, there are the little things that make life better like being able to eat a candy bar once in a while.

    So my suggestion is to be up front with what you're willing or able to do on the money side, if anything at all. Beyond that, you can be helping someone make it through the day when they get a letter once in a while.
    ThailandTom
  • ThailandTomThailandTom Veteran Veteran
    Cinorjer said:

    Yes, I began a correspondence with someone in prison. Quite a lengthy one. My mother had a prison ministry until her health simply got in the way and asked me to write to one woman who was taking classes in prison.

    There's really no one type of person in prison. About the only thing you can be certain of is, the person is desperate for human contact with the outside world and in most cases needs care packages and money. In the women's prison here in the "civilized world" the prison didn't provide sanitary napkins to the women. If the prisoner didn't have the money to buy them, tough. And of course, there are the little things that make life better like being able to eat a candy bar once in a while.

    So my suggestion is to be up front with what you're willing or able to do on the money side, if anything at all. Beyond that, you can be helping someone make it through the day when they get a letter once in a while.

    This was pretty much my intention from the start, I have seen plenty of interviews with people who have long or life sentences, but the way this one was handled struck me as unfair. I am fully aware how much a letter would mean to somebody who has probably lost most hope and vitality in their life, so I am going to post it all the same. Thanks for the reply @Cinorjer
  • footiamfootiam Veteran Veteran

    Has anybody ever written to somebody in prison they didn't know in person?

    I have written a letter to someone who I feel is not innocent in general but is innocent of what they have been sentenced for, furthermore when the crime was committed they were young yet tried as an adult which was controversial at the time.

    On top of that when this person was first interviewed they had no lawyer and as they were young it would have been easier for the detectives to get this person to say certain things.

    Lastly they had a very troubled and turbulent life from day 1, all of these things seem to have bee ignored and so I feel they have been dealt a great injustice. I think writing to this person will at least give them some level of contentment as life must be pretty hellish and mundane to say the least. The prison system also does not do much to help rehabilitate criminals, it merely locks them away from society, especially considering the age at when this person was tried I feel they should have been room for rehabilitation and reform.

    I am a bit cautious of leaving a return address though, this is my only hang up. I do not know if I like the idea of my address floating around a prison system even if I do move around myself a lot.

    I remember a penpal of long ago claimed to be in jail for some crime. I don't know if people still write letters nowadays. I would prefer e-mail now but never mind. I think you are right not to leave your return address. You have other better things to worry about.
  • ThailandTomThailandTom Veteran Veteran
    footiam said:

    Has anybody ever written to somebody in prison they didn't know in person?

    I have written a letter to someone who I feel is not innocent in general but is innocent of what they have been sentenced for, furthermore when the crime was committed they were young yet tried as an adult which was controversial at the time.

    On top of that when this person was first interviewed they had no lawyer and as they were young it would have been easier for the detectives to get this person to say certain things.

    Lastly they had a very troubled and turbulent life from day 1, all of these things seem to have bee ignored and so I feel they have been dealt a great injustice. I think writing to this person will at least give them some level of contentment as life must be pretty hellish and mundane to say the least. The prison system also does not do much to help rehabilitate criminals, it merely locks them away from society, especially considering the age at when this person was tried I feel they should have been room for rehabilitation and reform.

    I am a bit cautious of leaving a return address though, this is my only hang up. I do not know if I like the idea of my address floating around a prison system even if I do move around myself a lot.

    I remember a penpal of long ago claimed to be in jail for some crime. I don't know if people still write letters nowadays. I would prefer e-mail now but never mind. I think you are right not to leave your return address. You have other better things to worry about.
    ooops sent already with return address. If it is a letter it is something they can actually have that is physical, and to an inmate serving life for murder 1 that probably is a positive thing.
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