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airbrush 01-12-2007 12:07 AM

Do you take the crime into account when writing a penpal?
I'm not sure if this should just be limited to this forum, or who on here are writing to people (besides friends/family) as basically penpals, but:

For what kind of crime would you NOT continue correspondence?

airbrush 01-12-2007 12:27 AM

Yes I voted in my own poll
I voted in my own poll, but am curious if any of you out there would have a problem continuing (or starting new) correspondence... whether you find out at first what they did or months afterward.

My personal opinion, in writing penpals, is I can "possibly" see past each one as long as I know what they did/why/what they feel now.

I had great reservations in writing to one penpal who is doing time for murder, and I hope he is an exception, but his ad seemed genuinely sincere... well I kind of felt sorry for him, in other words. I may or may not continue correspondence with him...

CountryJ 01-12-2007 02:34 AM

The things that bothered me when I was looking for a pen pal were ones that either locked up for crimes against children, wheather it be neglect, molestation, whatever. And then I would not want to write to anyone with a sex crime.

My girl is in for murder, but she was in the car in the parking lot when it went down inside. So I feel differently than if she were convicted and was the one who actually did the act. She says she didn't know what the guy she was with was going to do when he went in.

No one knows the truth except her and him, all I know is the person who has served 14 years for her crime, and I like the person she is now. She hasn't given me a reason for me to think she has been dishonest at all.

mia_101 01-12-2007 02:47 AM

I had to put 'it depends' because I could sit here and say 'well, I wouldn't be pen-pals with a murderer' and here I am friends with someone accused of murder and convicted of manslaughter.

I did not know until a few months into our friendship and there were circumstances and not for a moment was I afraid of him for myself or anyone else.

So I might have a prejudice against certain crimes, but that might be overcome with knowing the whole story.

YapYap 01-12-2007 03:45 AM

I don't think I'd be comfortable corresponding with a person who is serving time for rape or torture or child molestation. But I never say never.

lormur 01-12-2007 01:21 PM

My thinking is that everyone can change and we have all made mistakes. I would have trouble with the rape and child molestor.
I think a rule of thumb that should serve all of us is "DO THEY ASK FOR MONEY? If they ask you for money, they are probably asking many others for money. I just read where someone had amasses over two thusand dollars by fleecing penpals. I will never send a dollar to anyone I don't know.

luvnmyinmate 01-12-2007 01:57 PM

I put sexual crimes. I am not against writing anyone for murder because many times it was for protection. My ex husband was in for 3 counts of attempted and 1 count of aggravated assault. But in his situation he was shooting at someone that had threatened to kill his son who was 3 yrs old at the time. So writing a murderer for me would not be out. Now someone who just straight out killed someone because they were bored, then no I would not continue to write.

sweet_aziza 01-17-2007 10:12 PM

People are capable of change and to judge a person on the crime that was commented is wrong. I don't have a problem writing anyone, if they are respectful. I can give the same.
Get to know the person first before judging on the crime that was done.

YapYap 01-18-2007 06:31 AM

Well said, sweet aziza! Which is why I'd never say 'never'. I think if I'd get to know a person first and then discover he/she did something like this I doubt I would stop writing if I like that person. You know, you've already seen this person is capable of doing good. That does make a difference I think.

But when I think about a case that was recently in the news here about a 12 year old girl who was dragged off her bike into a van, raped twice, managed to escape and then was overrun by the aforementioned van, I can't imagine myself ever writing to the man who did this. Maybe it's because I'm a woman myself and try to imagine what that must be like if it happened to me, but it just gives me the creeps. It may be a really nice guy and he might better himself and all, but what he does create a barrier, you know. There's just this much compassion you can muster.

barbie16118 01-18-2007 09:07 AM

i have 4 pen pals 1 I write to is in for murder, i wouldnt write a guy in for any Sex Crime (committed to a child or adult). sure people can change and all that but i have my opionions. I also wouldnt write anyone in for drinking and driving (personal reasons).

sillyj 01-18-2007 09:24 AM

For the most part, I'm a "never say never" type, but currently, I do draw the line at sex crimes. And I hesitate to admit that, because I know there are people here who's loved ones are in prison for sex crimes and I really don't wish to offend anyone when we're all here for support. It's not that I think the people who commit these crimes are necessarily horrible people, it's just my own personal hangup. Perhaps some day I'll get over it, but for now, it is what it is.

Any kind of violent crimes, I'd like to know more about early on. I'm a very non-violent, peace-loving hippie type, so I may not get along well with someone who thinks that physical fighting is a good way to solve problems. If it was self-defense, if they've changed, cool. If not, once again, it's not necessarily that they're a horrible person, it'd just be a personality clash that probably wouldn't make for a good friendship.

Keepin6 01-18-2007 10:41 AM

I think I am close minded when it comes to this stuff, because I would never ever write ANYBODY in on a sex crime, or a baby killer or something like that. Also, I could never bring myself to write anybody in PC because of the name that comes with it, and the way I see it, is they are there for a reason and all the reasons somebody would go to PC, I don't want to deal with somebody like that.

blondebabe 01-18-2007 10:46 AM

sex crimes against children are a big no for me,as I have kids and a young grandchild and I could never trust a man like that with the most precious things in the world to me.

cathy100 01-18-2007 01:34 PM

I always look past their crimes, i believe people have the capacity to change and that is my experience, i tend to look past what they have done and get to know the person

airbrush 01-18-2007 07:44 PM

It's interesting to see the variety of reasons people would not write someone. I do agree, I have to find the reason why they are incarcerated and any circumstances (defending themselves or defending family member, best friend, etc.) Who knows?

It's not the crime committed in as much as why it was committed. I can possibly "overlook" alot of reasons but I wouldn't accept 'boredom' or 'on drugs' or 'gang initation' for a reason to commit a crime. It does depend on the person. As long as you can tell (from letters/phone calls) that the person has changed and knows what they did is wrong, it wouldn't be a reason to stop communication with them.

RedHerring 01-18-2007 08:52 PM

I wouldn’t write to someone who was convicted of committing a violent crime of a sexual nature. Generally speaking the type of person who commits that time of crime has personality traits that I would rather not deal with. I also wouldn’t write to someone who hasn’t committed that type of crime, but shows the same traits.

Smelly 01-21-2007 01:16 PM

I wouldnt write a child pornographer but everything else is pretty much a go

His_shortie 01-21-2007 01:28 PM

I wouldn't write to a child molestor....couldn't do it.


Rose_Red25 02-07-2007 08:47 AM

I wouldn't write a sexoffender Ever. Or someone who murdered a child, i just couldnt.

mia_101 02-17-2007 01:02 AM

Funny, I probably wouldn't have written to a gang member/career criminal. But I think that's what I got.

Before I wrote, I was able to see online that he was in for felon in possesion of a firearm and that he was previously convicted for theft over $1500.00

In his first letter he said that other potential pen-pals have written but it fell off after a few letters.

I thought 'I can't be another one of those'

He was up-front about things, but it wasn't until the third letter that he revealed he's in ad-seg for gang affiliation.

I won't say in for a penny in for a pound, but at least a quarter.

So far, he seems worth writing to.

I hope it does him some good. I have to admit I'm not satisfied with merely helping someone out with lonliness, I want to make a difference, if possible, even if it's in a small way.

meganlea 02-18-2007 05:40 PM

My three penpals are in for multiple bank robberies (over 40), being a pimp (literally...promoting prositution -- not a sex offense though), and rape. I'm VERY particular about who I choose to write. The only reason I wrote the penpal that's in for rape is because he lived VERY close to my hometown which noone has ever heard of prior to his incarceration. One of my stipulations to being a penpal is that they also have to admit to having committed their crime. Yes, a few people are innocent behind bars...but the majority are there and were NOT wrongfully convicted. I won't tolerate being a penpal to someone who always claims to be wrongfully convicted when it doesn't happen that much. That being said, all of my penpals have been very honest about their past crimes and how they want to change in the future. I'm happy to support them on that journey.

I will NEVER, however, write to someone who is convicted of taking someones life. I don't care to hear about the circumstances. That's just me.

soukgirl 02-18-2007 07:31 PM

well, i have written to so many pen pals over 12 years and i majority is murder from 1st degree to manslaughter regarding gang relatied to drunk driving (manslughter for killing them instantly). One year i had one other inmate warn me not to write back to this inmate that was writing me. he got ahold of my addy thru that guy cellmate. he told me that not to beleive what he is telling me because he writes to alot of 40 womens and telling them differnt stories. he in for rape for numerous girls. Later that year that inmate that he warn me about started to send me bible scriptures and changing words araound making it perverted and then some. he sign me up for finger hut and alot of bible newsleter that i still continue to get now. the one that warn me told me to write to the warden and let him know and i did and they found alot of perverted contraband in his cell. They now watch his mamil closely going in and going out. one other inmate tried to aske me to sneak in some drugs for him and that if i get caought it will only dismiss my visit and that was it. Yet he wanted us to get married so he can shorten his term. When i said no to both he quit writing in a quickness. then i had one inmate that told me someone send him a letter that i supposely wrote and it was talkin shit and he competely was so shocked for me to say things like that. but i never did so someone stole my addy and use it to get back in it since we was in protected custoday and tryin to get out of the "EME" DA mafia.

icengineer 04-01-2007 11:00 PM

I stay away from people convicted of identity theft - I'm too worried that I'll become a victim too. I also steer clear of anyone convicted of crimes against children. Those are just too much to deal with.

1507 04-04-2007 07:13 AM

I do take their crime into account before writing. But if I had started writing already and something I wasn't aware of came up in conversation, I wouldn't STOP writing if I got along well with the person. This has happened to me in the past, before I knew better than to "respect" the inmate's privacy and not check him out before hand.

I won't write to anyone convicted of a sex crime, or any crime against a child.

I prefer to write to lifers, so I can deal with murder, but I do want to know the circumstances. I wouldn't write to anyone who killed their parents/spouse/child for money and I also have no interest in serial killers.

I also feel strongly about not writing to anyone who claims to be innocent. If I see anything like that mentioned in an ad I'll move on without thinking twice. Chances are they're not really innocent, the majority of people in prison aren't, and I refuse to base a friendship on lies/manipulations.

Sapphyre 04-14-2007 09:35 PM

For me, it's more about the circumstances and situation than the crime itself. Some crimes will bother me, whereas someone could do the same thing, and the circumstances are different.

For instance... going down for robbery when you're the getaway driver and playing a part in the robbery, but not committing the act, is not the same as actually doing the robbery. But the law doesn't see it that way. (Not that robbery particularly bothers me, but that's just an example).

In my pen pal history... I wrote to two people who were convicted of murder by "helping", one was an accessory, another was an accessory after the fact by concealing the body and covering up the crime. In the later, she didn't kill anyone, but her boyfriend said, "I killed this guy, help me dump the body", so she did. She got charged as if she had committed the murder.

As far as murder goes, I've replied to a few ads where the murder was gang related, but I researched and was not responding to the ringleader. I don't like the ringleader, sometimes the others involved are weaker emotionally and in spirit and make bad choices. I can understand that, but I can't understand being callous and organizing a murder, know what I mean?

I don't like predator type behaviour that prays upon victims, no matter how that's done... whether it's serial rape/murder, targetting victims for organized theft (as icengineer mentioned, identity theft), scandals, etc. If I think the person is capable of soliciting for penpals in order to have future victims, I don't want to talk to that person, regardless of the charge. I'm not going to change someone who thinks of me as "prey", although for the most part, violent serial predators are not a threat, but it's a behaviour that upsets me.

I have written to people convicted of violent crime who were emotionally driven (driven by anger, heat of the moment, a fight that got out of control, a confrontation), and did something violent, in one case, it resulted in death (manslaughter), in other cases, it was an aggrevated assault, but the victim was severely injured. In the case of one of my pals, it was an armed fight, and either my pal would get it, or the other guy would get it... I don't really see the guy he hurt as being a victim, since gang warfare is a violent thing, and a victim is just the person who loses the fight... a fight that just shouldn't be happening anyway. I don't ask him about his crimes, he has remorse, not so much for the fight, but for getting involved with the gang and thinking the gang was his ticket to make a quick buck since he had no education. This guy has so much remorse for how he screwed up his life (which is not a messed up childhood, among other sob stories we hear), that I never bothered him about his crimes, and left it to "bad judgement".

In my life experience, good and bad comes in all shapes and sizes, there's no way for me to say I can handle one thing and not another. Even in some offences I wouldn't normally tolerate, I might have written, if they didn't want to capitalize on things like "unfair trial, unjustly prosecuted". I don't need to hear stories about how they need money for appeals. If they need or want to appeal, fine... one of my pals is appealing because he got consecutive sentences, that's nice. That pal doesn't ask me for money. If he doesn't need money, then I don't see how any stranger should ask me for it either.


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