I have been impressed by the letters I’ve received from prisoners. Perhaps they don’t represent the majority of prisoners, but I think I can honestly say that, without exception, each person with whom I have corresponded has seemed sincere (although perhaps a bit tentative at first), perhaps not necessarily scholastic, yet always appreciative. Most often, they seem surprised that you would want to write to them, but are most thankful that you do.
It isn’t hard to take a little time to just sit down and write a letter. From the responses I’ve received, in fact, I believe it is time well spent. So far, I know that I have made a number of individuals feel that they are worthwhile human beings. The simple fact that someone has taken the time to write, means a great deal to them.
Humanity for Prisoners has a program called Project Window. Through this simple program, a commitment is made by an individual to write to a prisoner for one year. The letter writer uses only his or her first name, and the address used is that of a sponsoring church. For anyone wanting to begin a program of prisoner outreach, this could be a most simple beginning.
Who knows? The time you take from your busy day may, at least in part, be one small step toward helping an incarcerated individual take many of those steps toward his or her re-entry into society. It will, no doubt, increase that person’s sense of self worth. Finally – although it may come as a surprise – you may find that it will become for you both a rewarding and inspiring experience.