Serious Advice!!  

Take what you like and leave the rest.

Writing to a prisoner as I have said can be rewarding. 

It can also be a very hard thing to do also. 

Depending on why your inmate is in prison/death row, your family and friends will be unhappy about your choices to say the least.

This can cause conflict within your life. Serious conflict. The ramifications can be huge. 

While it might seem romantic with you and your inmate being "us against the world". The truth is far from romantic.

Most parents do not want their child (you) writing or being involved with a murderer. Neither do your siblings or your friends.

It causes less of a problem if you keep the inmate as a friend and do not get romantically involved. 

This again I say from experience not as some guru who thinks they know what they are talking about.

There are always "experts" out there who want to analyse why women write to inmates. They come up with all these reasons. Sometimes they may be correct, but mostly they are not.  Most people I know write because they have compassion in their hearts and just want to be a friend.

Sometimes religious people write, because Jesus said, "When I was imprisoned you visited me" 

Not everyone who writes wants to be a prison wife or girlfriend. Yet this is what happens MANY times.

Inmates are very lonely and so getting attention from someone can be mistaken for something it may not be.

Some inmates have several women on the go at one time, they do this to get money, calls visits and whatever else they need. 

This can cause hurt and pain to the penfriend, who wants a "normal" relationship. An exclusive relationship.

It is survival for many inmates to participate in this sort of thing. 

Another thing is that people can get carried away by emotions. While making plans for the future may be very romantic. The sad fact is that most death row inmates will never leave prison, even if they somehow manage to get off death row.

It is very rare for someone to be freed from death row.  I understand that everyone needs hope but in this situation even if someone was to be freed, it could take decades for it to happen. 

If by some miracle freedom does come to your loved one, then there are more shocks in store.

Sadly, very few if any, of these relationships will work on the outside.

This is due to the length of time someone has been locked up, perhaps for something they did not do.

They will be institutionalised, this happens pretty quickly actually, usually within two years of being imprisoned.

They may crave physical touch, but in reality they cannot cope with it.

They cannot cope with crowds, or making decisions. They have been told when to eat, sleep, go to the bathroom etc for years and years.

They will wish they were back in prison many days. 

They will suffer extreme mood swings and bouts of anger.

If they were alcohol or drug dependant before prison, then the chances are very high that they will go back to that way of life to cope with the reality of their situation.

The chances of your loved one coming to another country to live are also very slim too. 

When people go into prison as young men, their bodies may age but they are still stuck in the past. This may not be totally apparent until or when they become free men. 

They may say that you are all they need.  Sadly again, this has been proven to be incorrect. Not because the person does not love you, or the relationship was not real. It is because they are now free.  They no longer need you and will meet up with old friends and family. 

While this is all very sad, it also makes the person who has devoted their lives to them very angry and hurt. Even used.

These relationships are beneficial to both parties at some point and for their own reasons. Both are getting something they need.  If you can cope with only having contact with your loved one via mail, phonecalls and the odd visit for years on end. Supporting an inmate financially and emotionally then Good Luck and Best Wishes to you.

It is what it is and I am sure anyone who is reading this and is in a relationship like this at present, will be thinking this is all a load of nonesense. My response to you is simple. Believe it or believe it not. 

If after reading all of this you decide it is still worth it then I wish you all the best.

This is not written to put people off writing to penpals.  Quite the opposite actually.

If you can be a friend and only a friend then you will have done something very worthwhile in someone else's life. You will get on with your own life and be able to share all the wonderful things you do day in and day out. Your penpal will be part of your life, but not in a way where you exclude everything else because you are trying to have a "normal relationship" in an abnormal situation.