Supporting Penpals

Penpal Support Team serves two major functions:

Correspondence with our inside family is the heart and soul of our work. As one of our free world penpals said about writing and visiting their inside penpal: "To be a lifeline: Last month my friend and I visited her pen-pal who's serving a life sentence at a maximum security facility in Illinois. He looked us in the eyes and told us that we absolutely could not understand how important it is to be a pen-pal to someone on the inside. The mental gymnastics that he goes through to maintain his sense of self while confined to a cell 23 hours per day is, quite frankly, unimaginable to those of us who have not experienced incarceration. He didn't come out of the womb intending to spend the rest of his life behind bars, he told us, and needs love just like any other human. He told us our letters are his lifeline. We were his only visitors all year."