Gay Prisoners

Gay Prisoners is a site which should be - and is - absolutely loaded with caveats upon entering. The site itself provides a "Read First" warning which should be absolutely mandatory reading before even thinking about becoming a pen pal with an inmate. Included in the "Read First" caveats is this: "Inmates, after all, have been adjudicated by the state as criminals. The inmates you see on this site will be behind bars for the worst violent crimes to those crimes which involve no violence. Always be careful as to just how much of your life you are willing to share with an inmate."

Also this: "DO NOT PROVIDE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION: Your physical address, home or work telephone number, job location or employer, your financial situation [i.e.,

income, stocks, bank accounts, etc], names of relatives, account numbers and other

such personal and vital information. Do not identify your job description in such high

profile fields as medical, legal, government, military, accounting, broker, etc." The reasons are obvious - or should be. As someone who has worked in the judicial system at that level, I can assure you to take a grain of critical thinking into any relationships engendered.

And - having said that - some of the "crimes" prisoners are incarcerated for are absurd, products, often, of prosecutorial misconduct in the political urges to get ahead, as well as having been poorly-defended. Others did what they were convicted of but may have turned their lives around. Others are simply just plain lonely. No one can say they do not deserve attention, because they do - most of them. A Pen Pal can be an emotional and embracing moment for an inmate, stuck as he is behind bars, particularly in the numbers which the US has collected in their urge to punish.

This is a toughie for me. The warnings given both here and there are necessary contemplations for anyone considering developing a Pen Pal in prison. But, I can also say the rewards for each Pen Pal can be worthwhile.

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