GUIDELINES FOR PENPAL RELATIONSHIPS
The ads on the linked pages are placed by men incarcerated at Pelican Bay who wish to correspond with people on the outside. Here are some guidelines for correspondents to follow:
You must be at least 18 years of age.
Since you do not know your correspondent at the start of writing, it is prudent to use a PO box.
Keep in mind that all correspondence may be read by prison authorities, and that cash, stamps, and polaroid photos are not allowed, along with any that might be deemed indecent.
It is natural to wish to be helpful in practical ways and there is nothing wrong with meeting small, manageable requests for help finding out information, for example, to which a prisoner lacks access. Requests for money should be viewed with caution.
Friendship should be at the heart of pen pal relationships. Whatever your sexual orientation, sometimes romantic feelings may develop. Since there will be little or no direct contact between correspondents, there is ample room for fantasy. Try to ground your pen pal relationships in as much reality as possible. Your pen pal wants to share your life, its joys and troubles.
The condition of a prisoner often leads to depression, anguish, and great need. Remember that you cannot fix the fundamental causes of these things. You can only be a friend and that is of enormous value in helping your pen pal carry on. Keep writing, don' t offer easy advice, remember your own limitations. You will be well rewarded.
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