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November 14, 2018



I had a cousin in jail in the late 1980's. We wrote regularly and definitely it kept a link to the family until he was released. It was very difficult for him and eye-opening for me.


I have one penpal through Black and Pink. We've been writing each other for about 5 years now. It's sometimes emotionally hard to bear witness to the cruelties of the criminal punishment system but it has overall been a really good and enjoyable experience.
My nephew is also incarcerated right now. He's not great at writing back but I still try to send him occasional things to brighten his day.

Tamra Orr

The longest penpalship I've ever had was with a man in prison. I began writing to him in 1984 when I was a new mother. We wrote until his death from cancer--still in prison--in 2008. He was family, we all loved him. I visited him in person the year before he died and got to spend time with him face to face. His letters are kept in a folder and I look at them every so often with great love and sadness.

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