Contacting inmates is safer and more reliable when using e-mail services. Much like many Americans, prisoners are lonely too. Many of them have no one to talk to, no one to help them, and no true friendships to keep them engaged. So, pen pal websites provide a valuable service to both those who are incarcerated and those who are looking to meet new interesting people. Some of the safest and most reliable pen pal sites are: Penacon.com, Writeaprisoner.com, Meet-An-Inmate.com, Friendsbeyondthewalls.com.
Times have changed. Although prison pen pals' programs have been around for decades, the use of the internet has significantly changed the process. Before, enterprising companies would compile lists of both inmates and people on the outside, at random. They would sell those lists to inmates and lonely people alike. The lists would provide names and addresses with little certainty of personal interest. Some people have spent a great deal of time writing to inmates with little response. Others have been hesitant because of having to provide their home address. Now, using e-mail services instead of list, prisoners show their interest by providing their information in a personal profile. They, in effect, guarantee their interest with their own personal investment.
The new internet systems provide both choice and safety. No more providing personal address information to random prisoners. Today, pen pals can select prisoners who can utilize an e-mail service, so they won't have to list a home address. People can now browse the many sites out there and find prisoners who really want to connect with a caring soul.
Many of the inmate pen pal sites have adopted features which allow communication with prisoners without sharing a physical address. And, with more prisons utilizing services like JPay and Corrlinks (inmate e-mailing) it's easier to begin a pen pal relationship and getting to know these men and women before sharing a physical address (if ever). The e-mail feature provides such a high level of security that most people are not necessarily bothered by the crimes the prisoner may have been charged with.
While most of these sites have some way of showing which prisoners are able to accept mail, there are only a couple that allow people to find pen pals that specifically have e-mail access (Penacon.com and Writeaprisoner.com). These pen pal sites show which members can correspond via e-mail, and which can only use snail mail. This feature makes it super easy to choose a prisoner with e-mail access.
There are 2,298,300 people incarcerated in America alone, and of these, most have few or no friends who have stayed by their side. There are prisoners who are lonely and need pen pals, who want new friends, and who need mentors from society to help them stay connected to the outside world. Those who choose to become pen pals now have more options to correspond with those who are incarcerated. Today's technology has brought e-mail to the fingertips of many prisoners for a more secure way to communicate. Those who feel the need to reach out to a lonely prisoner now have the safety and security of web-based services like Penacon.com.