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According the the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2009 more than 2.3 million people were incarcerated. A large percentage of these prisoners are released at some point. Sadly, many will be ill prepared to lead a successful life outside the prison walls. Over half of those released will return to the correction system within 3 years. Most inmates are forgotten after long stints behind bars. With little to no contact with the outside, inmates are left with feelings of loneliness and hopelessness.
Some may think that prison pen pal websites such as ExclusivePrisoner.com are a bit out of the ordinary, but the truth is our organization is helping thousands of inmates all over the U.S. with the simple exchange of letters between those who are imprisoned and men and women on the outside that have chosen to provide mentorship or companionship to prison inmates. We provide a venue in which inmates can post a pen pal profile with a photo and a brief description of themselves. Their contact information is displayed on the profile for any viewer who chooses to write. Unlike Facebook and MySpace, the viewer can research an inmate and learn of their incarceration details through the inmate locator link on our home page.
You might ask who would write to an inmate. The answer is all kinds of people! We have prison pen pals from deployed U.S. military personnel, nearly every religious group, attorneys, activists, journalists and friends and family. Our viewers come from every continent on the planet! Since one in every 100 citizens in the U.S. is behind bars, it is likely that you know someone who is or who has been incarcerated.
For a nominal fee paid by the inmate, we provide a profile that will be viewed by thousands of viewers. The website also provides links to resources such as post release housing, drug rehabilitation, prison legal news, and reentry programs. The goal of each ad placed is to connect individuals who form a healthy bond and who both benefit from their correspondence. Since approximately 90% of all inmates will be released and budget cuts have taken nearly all of an inmate’s education opportunities from them, it only makes sense that we as citizens do our part to help the imprisoned make the necessary changes in their lives to become successful members of the community.
Writing to inmates isn’t for everyone. It takes a special person who feels compassion, and who is willing to share honestly and openly when corresponding. All potential pen pals must be 18 years of age and older and must read carefully the guidelines for writing to prison pen pals. We encourage all of viewers to use discretion when communicating with anyone over the internet, just as you would in meeting any stranger.
Philosophy & Values
At ExclusivePrisoner, we know that simply placing an ad on a website isn’t enough to get mail for an inmate. Awareness has to be raised among the general public to the benefit of writing to our men and women in prison. If people are out there looking for a prison penpal, we want them to meet our inmates. The lonely, sad and rejected can seek comfort in the words written by a pen friend from the outside. FaceBook, Twitter and other popular social media sites are growing in number daily. Since those in prison don’t have that luxury, we provide a way to get the same result through the U. S. mail and in some instances email.
“ Many people find it hard to open their hearts and share their feelings and problems. However, social interaction where people can talk out their problems and feel accepted and understood is very beneficial to mental health.”