Saturday, August 1, 2009

Prisoners banned from having pen pals?

From the blog Plain Error :

The Florida Department of Corrections has placed a ban on inmates which prohibits them from advertising for pen pals on websites or receiving mail from pen pal organizations. A clear violation of First Amendment rights, the DOC claims it’s to protect the public – since apparently “prisoners just create problems for their outside-the-pen pals.”

I’m speechless at how ridiculous this is. The people who respond to those pen pal advertisements are well aware they’re talking to prisoners (it’s in the URL! –, and make the choice at their own free will. “Not everyone has (ulterior) motives, lies or solicits,” said one of the inmates who posted her profile on a pen pal website. Inmates need someone to talk to and they have a right to write whoever they please, as well as receive mail.

Oh, but wait! The DOC says inmates can have pen pals, they just can’t solicit for them.

…Uh, how else do they intend to meet these pen pals? They can’t ask for them on the Internet or receive mail from pen pal groups, so where do they meet their pen pals if they have none? Is there an annual pen pal gala where all the likely candidates gather at the prison and exchange addresses and have a grand ol’ time? Probably not.

Several lawsuits have already been filed against the Florida Department of Corrections because of the unconstitutionality of the policy. Meanwhile, prisoners are sneaking around the rule, hoping not to get caught and put into confinement.

If you’re interested in becoming pen pals with an inmate, check out Google also has a list of inmate pen pal organizations here.


Anonymous said...

this is totally son does not have access to a comp in jail and w he would like others to talk to besides his family..thats what keeps him going hearing from other people

pen pals for prisoners said...

Yes , this is a nice blog post .
thanks for sharing with us .