If you wonder what difference a prison pen pal program can make in an incarcerated person’s life, read our prison penpal testimonials below or go to our “Why Start a Prison Correspondence?” page.
The moment I decided I’d write to strangers is the very moment my life would begin to improve. Meeting people this way has allowed me to grow in several ways and I realized I’m not as antisocial as I thought. Having been able to get to know people from around the world has given me insight into other cultures and the universal link we all share, is that we want to be treated fairly and maybe find someone to love. It has given me the opportunity to discover who I want to be. Pen-pals have improved my quality of life and opened my eyes to new dimensions, and I met my favorite person in the world! I still struggle at times to endure living in a cage, even on those tough days, it’s always nice to hear from someone who might actually care.Alan, incarcerated since 2005.
It’s a connection to the outside world. When you get that feeling of care and compassion that’s so lacking in a place like prison, coming from a complete stranger, you’re viewed a human being first than solely on our actions here. It means everything. There’s so much judgement that starts immediately in the criminal justice process and from the moment someone is charged and throughout their entire incarceration. Their true character and identity is often lost along the way based on one mistake that they made.Benjamin served 10 years in prison.
I have been locked up now in total isolation for 18 years. Throughout all these years, I have always felt ashamed and guilty for the crime that landed me on Texas Death Row, and yet it was placing a profile with the women of Wire of Hope, Sigrid and Élodie, that allowed me to see and understand that my past doesn’t define my future unless I refuse to change and accept responsibility for my actions. Little did I know that a friendship would come out of all this. Sigrid and Élodie have become not only a blessing to me, but their program has also opened doors for me to meet other people, and for that I’m beyond grateful to them! I encourage you to sign up with Wire of Hope and meet new friends that will allow you to see that even you are someone and that you have the power to change lives through the ink in your pen or through your fingertips by sending someone an email! What do you have to lose? Take this opportunity to change your mail status! Sign up and join Wire of Hope’s program! I promise you; you won’t regret it!Blue, incarcerated since 2004.
My experiences with pen-pals while incarcerated were limited. I never had one before. With my release date being only a few years away, I wanted to start to reconnect to the public more and try to mitigate my antisocial tendencies. I found that utilizing a pen-pal program may be the best way to get connected with people and see if I could establish some healthy communication. After several experiences I found that I was starting to establish communication with genuine people that weren’t judging me or playing games. I felt relieved to have this ability and mentioned these experiences to acquaintances and family. They noticed a few small changes in my personality that was certainly positive and I’m thankful for that.Jeromee served 19 years in prison.
Wire of Hope was the first company I used to find a pen pal. I didn’t have a photo for my profile at the time so I left my fate to my content and the company. To my surprise, I met people who cared more about content than just pictures. I’ve also made a great friend and we’ve been very good friends for a year now. Having a pen pal isn’t just about connectivity, it’s about meaningful friendships. Being warehoused in prison can make it difficult to establish those relationships that are necessary to maintaining important social connections. My new friend has been a pleasure and has helped me navigate through life’s endeavors that would have been very difficult otherwise. I am truly grateful. This lifelong friendship would have not been possible without Wire of Hope. That is worth far more to me than what I actually paid for the subscription. Thank you!Justin, incarcerated since 2016.
As the days and years have passed, the world “out there” grew further away, until it seemed as though “this” is all there is. As the boy who came to prison changed, transforming to the man I am, the world spun as I grew, one oblivious of the other. In all my growth, in my goals to be a good man, a good dad, striving to gain the tools I need to succeed in a society where I’ve struggled for so long, I found that I was lonely more than ever. That loneliness stung even worse around holidays, birthdays, achieving great accomplishments with nobody to share them with, with a son too young to understand and a world that has forgotten me. When I began getting penpals, it helped me mentally and emotionally in ways I didn’t realize I needed. Not only were people there for me but I was able to be there for others with mutual compassion, kind words and support. Through penpals, I was reminded there’s a beautiful world still out there waiting for me, something easy to forget when darkness is always surrounding you. Letters, emails, pictures and cards shined a light in, easing a chaotic mind and comforting a broken heart. I forgot what it was like to have people care, wish me a happy birthday, a merry Christmas, tell me “good job”, “keep it up”, “I am proud of you.” Such encouragement has created even more growth, positive changes, enlightenment, motivation and new perspectives. I developed many friendships and although I never intended and never expected to, I found peace, calm, healing and love. More than a partner, I found my best friend, a family and a team. The feeling of being complete, fulfilled, supported and hopeful all resulted from my initial decision to reach beyond these walls through Wire of Hope, where I found my heartbeat. I found something beautiful, rare, and real… It was the best decision I ever made.Nathaniel, incarcerated since 2015.
I could not at my age be content to take my place as just ‘a prisoner’ and look on at a life that I so miss. Life is meant to be lived in spite of our circumstances and receiving a simple letter from someone can spark hope on some very dark moments of this journey. I can share with you that the first time I received a letter from my pen-pal, I couldn’t stop smiling. It wasn’t much said but it fueled my strength to live! That’s the power of kindness, no matter how small. I wish more people would sign up to put forth kindness and hope in the lives of men like me.Thomas, incarcerated since 2005.
In these modern times one cannot fully appreciate the impact someone can make in a life with a blank sheet of paper and ink filled pen. This is my second time in prison. I said I would never come back. And I meant that with every fiber on my being, but here I am. Point is, I have experience in the art of doing time. My first time locked away I was fortunate in discovering the many joys of having a pen pal. I had pen pals from all over Texas, the US, and the whole world. Writing a pen pal isn’t just about “doing time”. Writing thoughts, feelings, ideas, goals etc gives you the chance to look inside and peel back the layers of the naked you. It helps that you have the safety of writing someone you have never met to bare your true self. I came to know several people that I still call a friend today. You have no idea the excitement leading up to mail call and then your name called and you have already shown 10 people on your way back to your cell. When you open that letter and start reading, you are instantly transported to from behind your walls and you are immersed in the knowledge that someone took the time out of their day to tell you they were thinking of you and at least someone in the world cares. Just five minutes of your day that you take to write someone hello or ask about their day could make someone’s day, week, or month.Brandon, served 8 years in prison, incarcerated since 2019.
Wire of Hope’s prison penpal profiles are all available here.