Here on our website we have over 3000 inmates who have posted profiles in search of finding a new friend to correspond with. Studies have shown that inmates who have pen pals or have continued correspondence with friends or loved ones have a lower recidivism rate than those who don’t.
So by becoming a pen pal to an inmate you are actually doing a good service to society.
That’s when Justin’s letters began finding me with increasing regularity.
In the months before the trial, Justin had a lot of time to think. We wrote about books and family and mutual friends.
Meeting someone who's been imprisoned for a serious crime is often another matter, however.
The physical boundaries between me and Justin only served to release us from our inhibitions; nothing was off limits. After a few months, we were talking on the phone in daily 15-minute bursts, and we wrote letters to each other every day.
Every other week, we greeted each other shyly between panes of smudged glass.
The summer after I graduated from college in 2007, I moved back to Delaware and drifted along the couches and floors of family and friends.
I was the girl who had always known what she wanted, the girl who was finally going to make her family proud, but I felt my drive and ambition draining away.
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I was ambitious, and my sights were set on anywhere but Delaware. Maybe when got his act together, I told myself, we could finally have a real relationship.