Facebook, Twitter, and Writing to Prison Inmates? A New Website Combines Social Media, Networking and Prison Reform.

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Writing to incarcerated men and women all over the U.S. has become a popular past time for many. People from ages 18 to 99 are doing it. Anyone from Texas to Thailand with an internet connection can do it, and it's free.

Learning from those they may never have given the time of day in their "previous lives" gives many in mates a sense of new found hope.

A premier pen pal website for prisoners was unveiled in October of 2010 and the news has spread throughout U.S. prisons. ExclusivePrisoner.com was developed to serve two purposes, to provide inmates with an opportunity to remain connected to the outside world through mail correspondence and to share resources with family and friends of the prisoners that might be helpful. One such link is Aid to Inmate Mothers, a site that assists in keeping prison mothers connected with their children. The site also provides a link to Prison Legal News, a publisher of human rights articles and legal information.

Though it may seem unorthodox to some, many types of people write to inmates for a variety of reasons. From Christians and judges and prison activists to those who are just curious, pen pals write to offer spiritual guidance, others to offer legal aid and some just to share ideas and thoughts. Oprah Winfrey's network even aired a special on inmates who married their pen pals. There are some romances, but for the most part, inmates say that the pen pal program gives them a look at life through another set of eyes. Keeping an open mind and learning from those they may never have given the time of day in their "previous lives" gives many inmates a sense of new found hope.

What does it take to become a pen pal to an inmate? Just a few minutes a day to write, ask questions, be a positive role model or just a listening ear, is all that is necessary. It's completely free to the website viewer. Inmate addresses are provided on the individual’s personal profile underneath their photo. Exclusive Prisoner is adding new features to the site soon to keep up with its rapid growth, so visit the site often to see what or "who" is new.


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