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  #1  
Old 02-04-2010, 02:22 AM
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Default Is it safe to be writing prisoners if your using your home address? (Versus PO box)

I ask this as i sent out a few a couple weeks ago. I've been on vacation, but talked to my parents and they asked me why i got a letter from someone in jail. I explained i wanted to write a few and say hello, maybe make their day. I explained that some dont have ANY pen pals or anyone at all to write to, and i felt if i were in that situation or in prison/jail at all even for a short amount of time i'd want all the letters i could get. I also explained that i feel i can learn something from them. Which is true. I've always felt you can learn a lot from others.
Anywho, that's all beside the point... What im really getting at, is.. Is it safe to use your home address when writing a prison pen-pal that you don't know? My dad was very concerned and asked me not to sent ANY more out or write back. I never really thought about that until now. But he does have a point. And now its really got me wondering as about 5 or maybe even more have my address now.

What are your opinions?

To make this clear, i WONT be sending anymore from my address. If i do it will be when i've gotten a PO box.
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2010, 03:41 AM
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I'm sorry for you that you had to lose your penpals!

I write to my penpal from my home address, it costs £60 odd pound per 6 months to recieve it at the pobox address here, that's like $100 per half year, to recieve probably 5 letters :-s
My penpal has many years left inside and isn't likely to be able to fly over the ocean to and get into the uk anyway, even if he did turn out to be a psycho.

I don't see any substancial risk.
But I wouldn't write to anyone on this continant, espcially who was getting out any time soon.
People say my penpal might have friends that can do things, but come on, how likely is that?
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:29 AM
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If you dont feel safe about giving out your home address but still want penpals maybe a po box would be a good idea for you. I use my home address but im overseas to my penpals so it dont worry me.
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Old 02-04-2010, 06:41 AM
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I use my home address, but most of the men I write to, are in prison for life, or sitting on death row. If I felt my safety was a concern, I wouldn't be writing to these folks. However, if you're under parent's roof, then I would rent a post office box.
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:11 AM
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I use my home address as well and never felt that there was any real risk in this. I live in Canada, so it would be very difficult for someone with a felony conviction to ever cross the border. In most cases, you need ministerial permission to enter. Additionally, all of my pen pals are serving life sentences, with parole set very far down the line. But as Daywalker wrote, you should rent a PO box if you live with your parents, especially if your decision to write people in prison makes them uncomfortable.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:08 AM
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I'm from Europe, so I am really not concerned. If I were in the US, I'd probably get a PO Box, though. Just to be on the safe side.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:28 AM
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I live in Canada and Like Rupert said it is very difficult for a criminal to cross the border however, I still use a po box because I am worried about my real address getting into the wrong hands. I trust my pp's but not the people they have to live with because I don't know them.
Just because your/my pp's are in prison doesn't mean that they don't have friends on the outside that can travel. I think it is always best to use a po box.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:44 AM
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I use a PO box. I live with my parents and it is only $20 for every 6 months.
As far as being safe..?
Chances are slim to none in my opinion of something happening.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:43 AM
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no wonder americans are using po box addresses if it's $20 per 6 months, it costs approximately $100 here, 5 times more for the same thing!
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaia_girl View Post
no wonder americans are using po box addresses if it's $20 per 6 months, it costs approximately $100 here, 5 times more for the same thing!
Here in British Columbia it cost 157$ for the year
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:56 PM
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Default No, Not, Never...

I would NEVER give a pen-pal my home address. You have no clue about these guys, what they're about, or what their intentions are. It's too late now, you've already written them with your home address - so now they have it. Any future pen-pals you plan to write, I highly suggest that you get a PO Box. Don't be so quick to be so trusting and give out too much information about yourself. Remember, these guys are in prison for a reason...Now before yall jump all over me *lol* I'm not saying that all inmates are bad and will do you wrong, but it is what its and you should exercise caution. Sure, it's all good in the beginning, but if things go south--you can end up regretting your decision to use your home address. Inmates have been known to pass addresses along..not saying it will happen with you, but it's a very common occurence.

I understand your father's concern; however, if you're over the age of 18 you're considered an adult and can pretty much do what you want. So if you chose to continue to write that's your business and you might want to keep that to yourself...your pops really is not trying to hear how great a guy your prison pen-pal is!

Please be careful with this. I wish you the best!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanthisbereal View Post
I ask this as i sent out a few a couple weeks ago. I've been on vacation, but talked to my parents and they asked me why i got a letter from someone in jail. I explained i wanted to write a few and say hello, maybe make their day. I explained that some dont have ANY pen pals or anyone at all to write to, and i felt if i were in that situation or in prison/jail at all even for a short amount of time i'd want all the letters i could get. I also explained that i feel i can learn something from them. Which is true. I've always felt you can learn a lot from others.
Anywho, that's all beside the point... What im really getting at, is.. Is it safe to use your home address when writing a prison pen-pal that you don't know? My dad was very concerned and asked me not to sent ANY more out or write back. I never really thought about that until now. But he does have a point. And now its really got me wondering as about 5 or maybe even more have my address now.

What are your opinions?

To make this clear, i WONT be sending anymore from my address. If i do it will be when i've gotten a PO box.
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:10 PM
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I had my first prison pen pal when I was 17. Gone through dozens in the last 15 years. I have always used my address. None of them have ever "stalked" me. Typically you are forgotten when freedom is granted. One thing I learned when I worked on the inside is that if one of the boys wants your address they will find it out. I had one watch the parking lot to see when I left, get my plate number and find me that way. I happen to be marrying him in 17 days so I guessed it all works out in the end.
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:10 PM
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It is better to be safe than sorry. If you live in the US, you should use a PO Box. The inmates that you write may be great people. However, addresses get stolen quite often. You just never know what could happen.
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:23 PM
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When I write my son he cuts my addy out and chews it up so nobody can get ahold of my addy. I would get a PO box for sure, the next time you write any of the pen pals who already have your addy tell them your dad flipped and they need to use the PO box in order to hear from you. Your dad is trying to protect his daughter and I don't blame him~ just as my son is trying to protect his Mama and I'm thankful for that. Good luck sweety.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:22 PM
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I have to agree with those who advised you to get a PO box. Speaking from experience, my address was stolen from a pal and I use a PO box!!! Your pals may be good guys, but some of the people who are serving time with them are not and could be looking to start trouble. In my case, the person who stole my address had beef with my pal and was hoping I would tell my pal about what happened so my pal would go after him and get in trouble. (I didn't take the bait)

My point is, a PO box isn't that expensive here in the US, and it may give your dad the peace of mind he needs. He's only trying to be cautious, and I can't blame him. Good luck!

Last edited by LoveMyGuys; 02-05-2010 at 02:25 PM..
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:30 PM
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I've been writing to prison pals for over 10 years, and have always used my home address. One of my pals actually gets out in about 4 months and will be coming to visit me! I've just never seen the need for a PO Box, but that's just me. I figure, really, if someone got out and wanted to 'find me'... they would, wether they had my home address or not...
Though, i have never had a problem with anyone I have written.
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnySideUp84 View Post
however, I still use a po box because I am worried about my real address getting into the wrong hands. I trust my pp's but not the people they have to live with because I don't know them.
Just because your/my pp's are in prison doesn't mean that they don't have friends on the outside that can travel. I think it is always best to use a po box.
Thats EXACTLY what i was thinking. Even if they are on death row that doesn't mean they can't give my address out to someone thats NOT in prison or that was but is getting out soon.
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyPrincess View Post
I use a PO box. I live with my parents and it is only $20 for every 6 months.
As far as being safe..?
Chances are slim to none in my opinion of something happening.
I would totally pay $20 for 6 months.. I'm gonna check the prices for PO box's around here.
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:33 PM
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Thanks for everyone's replies.. I was going to quote/reply to many more specific ones but realized i may end up just repeating myself SO this is to everyone: Thank you for your suggestions and stories/experiences! Knowing how cheap it is here in the US to own a PO box, im going to get on that ASAP! Because i'd really like to continue writing them. I've only sent one out to each of them. However, i just got back from vacation yesterday and had 5 letters back to me. And then just checked the mail a few mins ago and got 2 more today! After reading them all (haven't read the 2 from today yet), it makes me just wanna write back! Im already loving it. I am worried about how many people have my address now though, ugh. And even though im going to use a PO box now, they still have my original address which is a bummer.

Should i just explain im using a PO box now as i live with my family and they'd feel more comfortable with prison mail sent to a PO box versus our home? I'm worried that may offend some :-/
And should i also add that i'd appreciate it if they rip up my original address into pieces so it's un-readable, and throw it away and just keep my PO box address?
If so, do you think they'll actually listen to that?

AND ANOTHER thing, lol, so i only used my first name, inside the letter and on the envelope, many responded back asking me to include my last name because they can't send it out without one. I didn't add my last name for a reason.
?????????
What do i do?

Can i make up a last name? I don't know if you can even do that with a PO box because they make sure its the correct first and last name to the box they put it into, right??


Thanks for all your help ladies, i really appreciate it!
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:07 PM
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Again.. just my opinion.
I understand why people get a PO box when writing to inmates.... but a 'fake last name'.. I think is extreme.
I mean, it will be hard to start a real correspondence/friendship, when it starts out with 'little while lies'.

Yes, I would say be honest with those you write. Just explain that you had to get a PO box, and that that's the address they need to use.
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:12 PM
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I write from my home address. I wouldn't worry about it. In this day and age, if they have your name, they could find out where you live in no time anyway.
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanthisbereal View Post
AND ANOTHER thing, lol, so i only used my first name, inside the letter and on the envelope, many responded back asking me to include my last name because they can't send it out without one. I didn't add my last name for a reason.
?????????
What do i do?

Can i make up a last name? I don't know if you can even do that with a PO box because they make sure its the correct first and last name to the box they put it into, right??


Thanks for all your help ladies, i really appreciate it!
Yes you can use a made up last name. I do it. The letters make it to my box fine. You will find that is not very popular here, but who cares? It is YOUR safety and YOUR decision.

I treat strangers in prison exactly as I would treat strangers on the street. I will not give all my personal info (complete name, home address, etc etc) to some random person I meet at the mall or on okcupid or anywhere else. Once I establish a relationship with a person and get a feel for what they're about, then I open up a bit more.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:55 AM
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I always give me real name I think if I'm offering someone friendship then I have to be honest .I mean if I met someone on the outside I would not give them a false name untill I started to trust them. Also I live overseas so giving my home address does not seem like a problem to me.
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:38 PM
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Just a note regarding using a fake name. At my PO everyone has to show ID in order to pick up anything that doesn't fit in their box. Also, when I set up my mailbox I did have to show legal ID as well.

I would just tell them the truth - you're currently living with your parents and you are using a PO box for privacy.
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Old 02-07-2010, 08:53 AM
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I certainly would not tell them it's your parents address! please don't! if they turn out to be bad they would keep that address and could use it in future for bad stuff.
Please just tell them you have left that address and that house is empty so so no one will recieve anything they send there, that address is dead and gone.
And you have *just* moved in with your parents and you cannot use their address! :-)

I actually use a last name which isn't the same as the last name I use in every day life, I do worry about having to tell him in future if I visit or want to send things, eek
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