Write a prisoner is the most successful inmate pen-pal service which can be accessed almost any where in the world. They are an organisation who help get letters from the free world to those in prison. The organisation was established in 2000 by Adam Lovell who wanted to help those in prison gain moral support and friendship outside of the prison walls.
The inmates can not access the site online, however their family members can post profiles for them for a small fee and through the website you can choose who you would like to write to and the agency will forward your letter straight to the inmate. From there it is out of Write A Prisoners hand and then becomes the responsibility of the inmate and whether or not he or she wants to correspond. Most of the inmates on the website are based in the USA, however there are some international inmates. Several states however, have banned the use of prison pen-pal services and do not allow their inmates to be involved in a correspondence program.
The American prison population has quadrupled between 1980 and 2000. Which means more inmates looking for friendship and correspondence with the outside world.
Write a prisoner claims that research has shown people who correspond with those out-with the prison walls are less likely to reoffend, and therefore less likely to return to the prison system. The website strongly believes in writing a prisoner for rehabilitation. The Facebook page has a following of 26,425 people and their Twitter hold, 5,528 followers.
There are around 12,000 inmate profiles, 41,000 non inmate profiles and 25,000 forum members, which shows the success of the website. The forum on Write A Prisoner discusses issues from the death penalty to what books to send to their loved ones or pen pals, it also discusses issues such as falling in love with inmates and correspondences which have turned sour. Any one is able to join the forum to discuss issues of their choice, it is also a good way for journalists to get in touch with people. Check out the forum here.