Question for correctional officers

This is a discussion on Question for correctional officers within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; My wife's church group, has decided to start writing letters to women in local prisons. I have asked them to wait till I found a ...

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    Member Array IronMike's Avatar
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    Question for correctional officers

    My wife's church group, has decided to start writing letters to women in local prisons.
    I have asked them to wait till I found a little more information about this. My questions are... What are some of the risks?
    Are they all scammers? Or are some of them really just lonely women looking to correspond?
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    Unless they're in solitary, they're not lonely. If they are in solitary, they won't have much to write about other than their innocence. Not a CO, by the way, but I own one of their 6906 turn-ins and stayed at a Holiday Inn Express once.
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMike View Post
    My wife's church group, has decided to start writing letters to women in local prisons.
    I have asked them to wait till I found a little more information about this. My questions are... What are some of the risks?
    Are they all scammers? Or are some of them really just lonely women looking to correspond?
    Well I'm no CO either but the one observation I will offer is the common sense one. Those women didn't get where they are because they are honest, trustworthy, upstanding members of society. I'm not saying all of them are bad, or would be out to scam, but the odds are probably going to run in that favor.
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    I guess it would depend on what they're in prison for. I can't see any harm in writing to women in prison but I wouldn't have any contact beyond that. Maybe it will make a difference in someone's life in a positive way.
    It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

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    Sorry, but I don't want any ex-con knowing my name, my address, and thinking they have established a relationship with me.
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    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
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    So far, the ladies have agreed to use a private PO Box, and just try to spread their version of the Word, whatever that means.

    Who knows,it might be nice to have a future Congresswoman thinking you have helped them out in the past.
    It is pardonable to be defeated but never surprised.
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    Yeah, well a private PO box and judicious use of 'pen names' instead of real ones would limit their exposure.

    IMO, if they really feel the need to spend their time writing to someone, how about they start a "contact your congressmen" group? At least they'd know going in that those crooks were out to scam them!
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMike View Post
    So far, the ladies have agreed to use a private PO Box, and just try to spread their version of the Word, whatever that means.

    Who knows,it might be nice to have a future Congresswoman thinking you have helped them out in the past.
    LOL
    It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

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    If they decide to try this I would suggest they both coordinate and ask for some training from the prison clergy. They will provide them with training on how to spot a scam, what you can or can not send an inmate, and things to watch out for. Their is something odd about female inmates, a male inmates family will move to be near the prison so they can visit, But a Man wont move to be near his inmate wife. DR
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangerranger View Post
    If they decide to try this I would suggest they both coordinate and ask for some training from the prison clergy. They will provide them with training on how to spot a scam, what you can or can not send an inmate, and things to watch out for. Their is something odd about female inmates, a male inmates family will move to be near the prison so they can visit, But a Man wont move to be near his inmate wife. DR
    Heck no man. When the cat's away (and by away I mean serving 8 to 10 in the hoosegow)...
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMike View Post
    So far, the ladies have agreed to use a private PO Box, and just try to spread their version of the Word, whatever that means.

    Who knows,it might be nice to have a future Congresswoman thinking you have helped them out in the past.
    I didn't think they became criminals until after being elected! Nothing like getting off to an early start in a political career.
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
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    O.K First off, I am a Correction's Officer and have served for 14 years.

    During my time I have served 11 Years as the equivalent of a Federal Officer in Ireland and for the last 3 as a State D.O.C Officer.

    From the onset be aware that these Women will want something in return for your wife's innocent friendship, Writing to an inmate as part of a
    group may have the upside of making people feel safer. Church and community groups have projects in which members write to an inmate
    pen pal and a group leader oversees and censors all of the communication. Prisons also monitor your communication for their own safety.
    But a CON-vice con is just that a CON.

    Your wife's kind offer to be a pen pal may result in a simple request "could you maybe send me some paper and a stamp so I can write you more
    often?" Could you / Would you refuse such a simple request ?

    Ha, well if you do you may be guilty of a misdemeanor crime in some state's, in others it may in fact be a felony.

    My advice is simply this......... Have Nothing To Do With Their Game, and if you do be very careful as to what you put on paper.
    Surrounded and outnumbered, pass me my vest!

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    ^^^best advice you could take IMO^^^
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    FWIW in NH my church had a mens and womans group go to the county jail to "fill in the blank here" Don't want to get religous here. We took precautions and understood that some folks truly appreciated us being there while we knew others were playing us. It is part of missionary work.

    If the ladies want to do this I say go for it but listen to the advice of CO's and learn from the mistakes of others. Have strict ground rules for the ladies on do's and don'ts.

    The point of missionary work is sometimes to work with folks that have not "fill in the blank here". Comes with the territory
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    Not a CO, nor am I a chaplain, however my brother-in-law has worked as a chaplain in the correctional system. I showed him this thread and in the few seconds we had to talk, he was very clear that there should be some stringent rules on how to go about doing this - but there are many in the correctional system that would enjoy it.

    1) Connect with the prison chaplain and ask seek advice from him/her on who would be good to write to.
    2) Know the records of the inmates your writing to. Churches can be easy prey for con artists and child molesters.
    3) If they ask for money - cease correspondence (even hint at the need for money or other items)
    4) If they only proclaim their innocence in their return letters - stop correspondence.
    5) Use a PO box assigned to the church.
    6) Never agree to meet with any family member/associate/friend or whomever of an inmate - there is no guarantee of who your really meeting with. (He relayed one case where an inmate gave another inmate that was being released the letters to pose as family and ask the church for money. It was a scam).

    He said that was for starters - and to use extreme caution when taking on such a case. It would be preferred to write to KNOWN inmates, maybe relatives of church members, or the like - choosing inmates at random can be dangerous. He was VERY clear on that.
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