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Prison Pen Pals — 26 Comments

  1. I don’t quite get the whole idea of becoming involved with an inmate. They are in there for a reason.

    However, I can understand and see the idea of the inmate having plenty of time to write some very ‘touching’ letters and create the idea of whatever faux happiness the Pen Pal seems to need to believe in. The Pen Pal on the other hand may start out thinking that they are doing good and giving hope to someone on the inside, but as they read these letters of sunshine and butterflies, get drawn into believing this is really not a bad person. It was all a conspiracy and inmate # XXXXXX was framed in their mind, because that’s the story they heard from the inmate themselves. Do any of them bother to go back and READ the court transcripts or the documents from the case? I highly doubt it.

    • Pixie, one of the “reasons” that people get involved with inmates is because of their own personal dysfunctions – it’s “SAFE” to have a boy/girlfiend that’s behind bars and, yet, there appears to be such passionate dialogue, right? Inmates have nothing BUT time on their hands, and they often make someone who is lonely and lacks self-esteem “feel” as if they are a god or goddess. The target is the “Only One” that could possibly understand the inmate’s plight and need for “redemption.” It’s a con and a crock.

      The Green River Killer actually had women in the courtroom gallery that would flirt during trial testimony. It’s nuts, and it’s an illness, IMHO.

      • Truthy, last night in researching about another problem with people and offenders, I read a passage from J. Reid Melloy, PhD.’s book Violent Attachments a passage about the green river killer’s most faithful female follower, and your mention there made me think about it….I am not much on Melloy but he did go into some good information (in my thinking) about that very thing, about how people who become “groupies” of serial killers etc. are themselves seeking attention. Melloy mentioned that he didn’t think that she would be faithfully visiting an inmate who was NOT a famous serial killer. In an interview when asked about his horrible crimes, she said (paraphrased) Oh, I’m not concerned with that, he’s a nice person and has always been nice to me” DUH?????

        On Prison Talk the terms “death row groupies” is verboten and I think that applies to many of these people who congregate around the famous serial killers and other creeps. I bet Ariel Castro has women throwing themselves at him before long. It wouldn’t surprise me if he isn’t already getting mail from “death row groupies” –and BTW that term is NOT “verboten” here on Family Arrested.

        • Okay here is the quote from Meloy’s Violent Attachments page 88-89 about the woman, a “Ms. Lee,” who

          “was a 23 yr old unemployed mother of two who visited Richard Ramirez regularly and have been discussing marriage,….an ob viious reference from her direct quotes is that Ms. Lee either consciously suppresses, or unconsciously denies, the fact that Richard Ramirez was convicted in Los Angeles in 1989 of thirteen murders and thirty other felonies, including attempted murder, rape and sodomy, and was sentenced to death; at the time of her visitations he was beginning trial in San Francisco on another killing and injury of a couple. In her mind, his criminality and violence may only be imaginative, because she has never experienced it. Yet there is no concern, perhaps a la belle indifference, that she ever would.

          On the other hand, she may have lied to the reporter and actually be titillated by Rameirez’s potential for murder, his extreme forms of violent sexual perversion (Ramirez raped and mutilated several of his victims), and his infamy, which she can narcissistically identify. I think it is highly unlikely she would visit Ramirez if he were a publicly unknown murderer.

          The first inference suggests histrionic pathology, the second inference suggests narcissistic pathology, and both are shadowed by a certain sadomasochism that as yet remains incholate. Ms Lee’s visits to the San Francisco jail may be voluntary in the sense that she can choose to go or stay home on any given day’ but her psychodynamics probably unconscious, may compele her to embrace the psychopath as love object. This is the focus of my investigation.

          End quote

          While I agree that there are people who are opposed to the death penalty for many reasons of conscience and who work toward ending that form of punishment, I for one am also against it, but ONLY because of the chance of an innocent person being executed for a crime they did not commit. I posted as much on Prison Talk web site yesterday and it was deleted by the moderator because such talk is counter to the purpose of the blog which is to “support” offenders no matter WHAT they have done and to toe the party-line there on that blog that they all have “good deep down inside them and deserve to have someone love them.”

          It is their blog though, and a quite successful one with MILLIONS of posts and hundreds of thousands of subscribers and it is their right to delete anything from their blog that they find offensive, so I am not offended by them deleting my post, however, it does make me wonder how SO MANY people can be so deceived by the offenders who have demonstrated that they are psychopaths without conscience,, remorse or any kind of bonding to other humans on their part. Meloy’s book investigates just how some of these people function in such relationships.

          Well, as I know, that is NOT the case with many (most) relationships where one party is a serial offender, or abuser, and the above passage stands to show that for people who become romantically involved with such individuals as serial killers, there is something in the person who does so that is most likely not healthy at all.

          • In one word?


            I agree that those seeking out an inmate to pen pal and otherwise chum up with- there’s something wrong on their end as well. What that is? The extent of it? We may never know and it might be better that way.

      • Truthy- I can see the skewed logic in thinking the inmates incarceration is a safety net of sorts, but when they get out? If they get out, I would be concerned what would happen then.

  2. Pixie, I agree with your assessment…and for a while I had “pen pals” who were my son’s friends….and checking on them I find (NOW) that they are some pretty bad actors. One got out and I met him several times, but he is now back in prison again, won’t be released til a few years yet, but then will be released without parole as he will have served his entire sentence (for murder) and frankly, I would be afraid of him, he and Patrick were very tight.

    I also found where patrick wrote to Hamilton telling him to have inmate XXX contact me and tell me that such and such was not illegal and that I would believe XXX since I didn’t believe him. LOL Yea right! I was NOT about to participate in breaking prison rules OR breaking laws…SO NOPE, NOT A CHANCE. I thought it was funny though that he was trying to convince me to believe his buddy.

    For several years my mom sent this inmate correspondence Bible classes and he completed them and mailed them back, but I am sure that was just a ruse to make her think she was “helping” him find Jezus. LOL Patrick was heavily involved in a prison ministry program and had the minister/counselors totally snowed. LOL Yea, they will use whatever free world contacts they have to con people into thinking they are just “poor misunderstood babies” LOL

  3. I think I convinced myself that Patrick’s friend who wrote me, sent be beautifully and complex hand made cards, called me “mom” and took Bible correspondence courses from my mother that we were helping these men who had “reformed” and see the light of their criminal behavior and wanted to change…want it badly enough to actually CHANGE, but I came to find out that his “friends” were all psychopaths as well and were just attempting to con me. Heck I even sent commissary money (a bit, not much) to one of them for a couple of years since his whole family had “abandoned” him…LOL Yea, no wonder they “abandoned” him, he is a stone cold killer just like Patrick. I guess Patrick can to the pity ploy that his mommy abused and abandoned him as well. He has always seemed to ride that horse pretty hard.

  4. Here’s an interesting article about a woman in England who is “in love with” a death row inmate here in the US..what she says about not caring about his past crimes is almost identical to what Ms Lee said about Richard Ramirez.

    I fell in love with a prisoner on death row: Meet the woman set to marry a murderer after eight months of writing him letters

    By Barcroft Reporter

    PUBLISHED: 08:04 EST, 22 August 2013 | UPDATED: 09:13 EST, 22 August 2013




    Mother-of-one Anna Curtis has found love again after six years – in a murderer on death row.

    The 47-year-old from Mitcham, London, sends kinky letters to prisoner William Speer, 39, who was imprisoned in 1991 after shooting and killing a man.

    Mr Speer was given a life sentence, but found himself on death row in the Allan B. Polunsky Unit in Texas after he was convicted of strangling an inmate in 1997.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2399957/I-fell-love-prisoner-death-row-Meet-woman-set-marry-murderer-months-writing-letters.html#ixzz2cmwCBkbV
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    Notice also the criminal backgrounds of her brothers and her former love interest.

  5. Joyce, my personal belief about why people align themselves with convicts is directly related to my own insight about my core-issues.

    Because I have always been such a “needy” person, my perceptions and instincts have been ignored and altered so that I will be a “good person” by tolerating and forgiving BAD behaviors of other people. A “good” person always forgives, forgets, and offers zillionth chances. “That’s just the way he/she is, so I have to accept it,” is one of the most FLAWED and DANGEROUS stances to take, IMHO. Well, if that’s true – if that IS “…just the way that he/she is…,” then I’m right the fark OUT because tolerance of that type can be a fatal mistake.

    People who have “found Jesus” after committing terrible crimes against others also concerns me. One can crow about forgiveness and quote passages until their noses bleed and sound QUITE convincing. But, the facts remain that the person who is so adept at quoting passages to reference their salvation and redemption has deliberately, callously, and maliciously perpetrated crimes against others and had the option to “find Jesus” BEFORE they harmed others, and they didn’t. It’s one thing if a person is mentally ill and literally has no concept of “right and wrong,” and quite another when a person does something that they know is wrong before they even do it.

    The second exspath is a prime example of this. He was aware that he was forging my signature to steal my investments, but he did it, anyway, and went to great lengths to see that I remained ignorant of his activities. Suddenly, after he was exposed for what he is, he has “found Jesus” and become involved in organized religion.

    I am very, very, VERY cautious about such individuals because the knowledge of “right and wrong” was present BEFORE they committed their crimes. Once they’ve been “outed” or incarcerated, it’s a very easy thing to claim that they’ve seen the light, so to speak. Why didn’t they “see the light” BEFORE they harmed or killed another human being? Because……………they chose NOT to.


  6. I read back through Meloy’s book on Violent Attachments again last night about Ms. Lee and her visiting Richard Ramirez, who had killed 13 people (at least) and raped and brutalized some of them…and this woman in London’s death row pen pal/pseudo lover is I think just a clone of Ms. Lee.

    In reading through Prison Talk posts which I have been doing here lately, it amazes me the huge numbers of especially women who have these “met while incarcerated” relationships, some with lifers or death row inmates. Meloy says about Ms. Lee “the first inference suggests histrionic pathology and the second suggests narcissistic pathology, both shadowed by a certain sadomasochism that as yet remains incholate…..her psychodynamics compel her to embrace the psychopath as love object.

    So, obviously, the woman does not have a healthy emotional underpinning. I know that my own emotional underpinning was skewed and not healthy at all…like you, I felt I had to make everything “wonderful” and if it wasn’t, it was my fault. So I put up with abuses, repeatedly, that no healthy person would endure.

    When we break free of them we concentrate on learning about them, but as we heal, we need to concentrate on ourselves and to fix ourselves. Learning to be cautious with others, especially new people we meet, and to NOT ignore their past behavior, because you know, as I do, that PAST BEHAVIOR IS THE BEST INDICATOR OF FUTURE BEHAVIOR. It is the rare bird that comes out of prison a better person than they went in, that is why there is an 80% recidivism over a period of 20 years. Even if the person stays out of trouble for a few years, unless they have a total change of thinking, they drift back into offending behavior again.

    On Prison talk there are so many people there, mostly women or parents who talk about their son/daughter being incarcerated for the 3rd, 4th or 5th times, and yet they still hold on to “hope” that the loved one will straighten up. They blame the drug addiction for the problem, but many of them have been through rehab 4-5 or more times and still the minute they get out they go back to substance abuse. Sure there are some genetic things involved with addictions, but the person is NOT POWERLESS to stop, and in order to change they must stop.

    I recently read a book about the man from Arkansas who was on SEAL team 6 that took down Bin Laden, he was killed right before the Bin Laden capture, and he was a good kid iin school but got out and got into drugs, and eventually even though he had a record, got into the SEALS and became a good soldier, a hero even, but that is very rare with addicts.

    Setting boundaries with our loved ones, even going no contact if we must, is the only way to get off the merry go round of pain and dysfunction. WE must get healthy for ourselves, we can’t do it for someone else no matter how much we love them. Your son and mine are prime examples.

    Thanks for your comments.

    • Joyce, you wrote, “Setting boundaries with our loved ones, even going no contact if we must, is the only way to get off the merry go round of pain and dysfunction. WE must get healthy for ourselves, we can’t do it for someone else no matter how much we love them. Your son and mine are prime examples.”

      The words, above, should be cast in bronze – they are PRICELESS words to consider.

      I was recently talking to someone whose son is, if nothing more, toxic as can be. He made a decision to move OUT of his mother’s home while he is still in college INTO a little shed/apartment with his girlfriend. Now, this decision wouldn’t be such a huge deal if he had not only been emotionally/financially prepared to make that decision successful, but that wasn’t the scenario, at all. The mother of this young man had just lost her job because the business closed – happens all the time. But, she was struggling to gain employment from the day that the job ended, with no success. There was no income and he actually abandoned her without one ounce of consideration that she might actually need his help and support while she was getting back onto her feet, financially.

      Normally, an offspring that had a sense of compassion, empathy, and conscience would reconsider their decision and put it on hold for a bit. It’s NOT like this kid was running from an intolerable parent or situation. Quite the contrary. The mother had experienced such a degree of abuse during her own childhood that she went the complete polar opposite with her own offspring to make certain that her offspring would never “feel” the way that she had, as a child. Instead of setting boundaries and teaching this kid a balance between his own needs (wants) and compassion for the needs of others, he is (IMHO) a toxic threat to her and she simply cannot and WILL not accept the facts, as they are.

      Mind you, this kid doesn’t “do drugs, drink, smoke, or steal,” but he is cold, calculating, manipulative, self-centered, self-absorbed, and emotionally unavailable, on every level. He is, at the very least, thoroughly toxic. “But, he’s my SON!” is her response to the facts.

      Okie dokie – here’s the horrifying and grievous truth: just because someone shares DNA does NOT preclude that they will be what we want, expect, or wish them to be. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, eats duck-food, and makes little ducklings out of duck-looking eggs, the chances are probably quite likely that it’s a FARKING DUCK. No amount of medication, wishful thinking, love, or begging is going to turn that toxic farking duck into a warm and fuzzy teddy bear.

      “So, if you had a sibling that was toxic, you’d just cut them off?” was a question that she asked me, directly. My answer was, “Yes. But, that doesn’t mean that I would like my decision or that it wouldn’t be a painful one to make.”

      There is NO EASY WAY to come to decisions that are self-protective. There just isn’t. And, this is precisely WHY people continue to tolerate bad choices and behaviors: it’s simply too painful to accept the fact that all of the love and support that we give is NOT going to be returned in like kind in the form of “change.”

      I “love” what Mike SHOULD have been, but I do not know the adult that he has developed into, nor do I wish to know that individual. If I met Mike on the street and witnessed his behaviors, I would dismiss him as a toxic threat without batting an eye. SO……..just because I share DNA with him, does that mean that I’m expected or required to accept, tolerate, and ENABLE the same types of behaviors that I would never allow from a stranger? NO. Hayell, NO.


  7. Yea, Truthy, I have come to that same conclusion about shared DNA not being a reason to be involved with a toxic person, but too many times people never come to that conclusion, just as you and I didn’t for a a long time. Maybe some of them will “get it” and some won’t “get it” but each of us must come to our own decisions. Just as that Ms. Lee and the woman in london have chosen to (for whatever their own reasons or dysfunctions) to have “relationships” with serial killers…

    Whatever we do we get a “pay off” or we would not repeat the behavior…even a negative pay off is a “pay off” and we just continue to repeat the behavior until we decide for ourselves that the pay off is not worth it. The “intermittent rewards” that get us hooked, just as I use in animal training, are I think an indication for “trauma bonding” so to speak, and it works for animals, why wouldn’t it work for humans? We are after all animals with instincts as well.

    • Joyce, you wrote, “Whatever we do we get a “pay off” or we would not repeat the behavior…even a negative pay off is a “pay off” and we just continue to repeat the behavior until we decide for ourselves that the pay off is not worth it.” ANOTHER very profound and insightful comment that bears repetition. Frequently.

      ANY payoff is still a payoff. Someone told me, recently, that they made a trip to the ER and actually found it comforting because of the attention, care, and concern that they perceived from the Staff. Okay……I “get that,” and spending a sh*t-ton of money on an attention “payoff” is an important lesson, I think. It’s a direct indication of just how deeply damaged a person can be when a medical procedure is COMFORTING. Of course, the “comfort” is an illusion – none of those people left their shift, that afternoon, and kept that patient in mind. They are paid for their comfort, care, and compassion, right?

      When I pointed this out – that a perception of compassion – was a clear indication of what this person felt was “needed,” they “got it,” immediately.

      The only “payoff” I can see with a convicted criminal to be is a long, slow, and very painful descent into a living Hell.

  8. Truthy, the perception of the psychopath, and some others, is that they are never to BLAME for the consequences…it is the person who ratted them out who is to blame, not them…or the fact they robbed or stole or killed, or any of their actions.

    Patrick believe it or not, sees himself as a SUCCESS…DUH? Wrap your head around that one. He’s been in prison or jail since age 17 all but about 12 months of that time, and he’s 42 now, so HOW ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH would anyone see him as a success? Well HE DOES.!!!!! If that is not insane. His arrogance knows no bounds, his sense of entitlement as well.

    Your friend above mentioned that likes to go to the hospital or ER because it makes her feel cared about sounds like she is very “gamey” and must be very very lonely and depressed. Unfortunately playing the “sick role” is the way that many people get attention. I’ve seen it all my career in clinics, and the doc I worked with called it “she ENJOYS **POOR** HEALTH.” And that kind of needy person does enjoy the attention they get for the “sick role.” Of course those of us who are or were “professional carers” that’s our job to reassure them in the sick role, but as a general rule we don’t take it home with us, we can’t or we would be over whelmed.

  9. I ran across this article in the daily mail today about a British woman who is leaving her kids and moving to the US to live with a prisoner being released on parole in September.


    The young mother is quoted as saying “‘Some people might think I’m bonkers for falling in love with a prisoner. And not everyone will agree with our relationship,’ Butler said. ‘But Chris is a wonderful man. Sure, he made a few mistakes in the past, but everybody deserves a second chance.’

    She goes on to say “Butler says she felt an immediate connection to him and was impressed by his honesty.

    ‘I felt sorry for him being locked up, nobody to talk to except other prisoners. Of course, I didn’t condone his crimes. But he was still a human being, and deserved to have a friend,’ Butler said.

    ‘I was really intrigued by his profile. It was different to the rest. Most of the guys were posing with their tops off. But his was articulate and he was open about his crime.’

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2677286/British-mother-abandons-three-children-marry-violent-prisoner-met-online-impressed-honesty.html#ixzz36Q7ukWGQ
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    This young woman is deluded, at best….but actually I think any woman this easily led off down the “garden path” by a psychopathic prisoner is not a good mother and that her kids are better off without her.

    Unfortunately “prison pen pal” stories like this are not so rare after all. Even Jeffrey Dahlmer had 14 women he was writing to, each on thinking she was his ONLY “love” The letters were found after he was killed.

    Not everyone “deserves a second chance” and my bet is that within a month or two he will be back in prison for another crime. The “honeymoon” will be very short.

  10. Charlie Manson recently got married to a “pen pal” who became a visitor and now his son claims that the woman married Manson to gain control of the huge fortune Manson has accumulated from selling pictures and do-dads….the son, who was reportedly conceived from Manson raping the man’s mother is upset about the woman apparently gaining access too Manson’s money. LOL Interesting plot twist in any case. So maybe the woman isn’t JUST a prison groupie, maybe there is a big financial motive behind it all. Maybe her relationship to Manson is just a con on her part to gain that money. Interesting twist.


  11. Very interesting. Not so much about the new bride, because that’s not surprising.

    Most interesting is the kid who is Manson’s son. He looks like Manson and also kinda looks like my spath brother. I wonder how his genetics have affected him after being raised by a nice adoptive family. He says that Manson has shown him a “softer” side and given him advice. That tells me that he isn’t very wise, doesn’t know much about psychopaths and doesn’t know when he’s being manipulated. Poor guy.

  12. Sky, good points…though I do not know why ANYone would want a “relationship” with Charlie, who is obviously an EVIL excuse for a human being. I realize that Charlie has a long line of dysfunctional people and grew up in foster homes and juvenile jails as a youngster, but I don’t have any doubt that he is fully psychopathic.

    This takes “prison pen pals” to a new level of dysfunction, but at the same time, makes me realize that the new “wifey” may have some ulterior motives, and also makes me realize that maybe the son does too. He sounded pretty bitter about the wife getting control of the money, like maybe he thought it was owed to him as the “son”

    • Joyce & Sky, I cannot process any reason to become a prison “pen pal” with someone, under any circumstances. I may have mentioned that a classmate of mine was a “pen Pal” with some nut job when she was 14 years old – he escaped from prison and she was immediately relocated because of intentions that he had spoken while still in prison. I read some of the letters that she got from this guy, and I have to say that it’s 100% sophomoric manipulations – “love” is constantly mentioned and either graphic se-xual content or strong innuendo was a constant theme throughout the prose.

      For me, it would be safer to become involved with a cobra snake than to engage in this foolish “fantasy” endeavor. Whether or not they will “change” and become better people does not depend upon a quasi-intimate relationship with an unknown party on the outside. It’s nuts. The whole thing is just nuts.

  13. Truthy, the “system” encourages people to “support” convicts. Churches send in groups to “help” them to find Jezus and these people aren’t really going to think that “once a crimiinal,, always a criminal.” because they have converted these people.

    I read a book written by a minister that “converted” Jeffry Dahmer and the minister spent the entire book on how Jeffrey was “sincere” in his conversion, BUT at the last chapter, after Jeffrey had been murdered by another inmate, in his cell were found letters from 14, yes fourteen, women that each thought he was “in love” with them. The minister couldn’t make sense of this…but to me it was CRYSTAL clear. !) Jeffrey is a psychopath 2) he was “getting off on” fooling the minister, the fact he fooled the minister into thinking him sincere was a turn on to Jeffrey 3) he was getting off on tellling each of these women that he was “in love” with them. 4) it was ALL a game to pass time and get a thrill from pulling a con. It didn’t matter that the “con” really didn’t gain him much, it was just that ANY success at ANY con was FUN to a psychopath. Maybe the women sent him commissary money, but that was only a “side” benefit, the main benefit was the CON.

    What the free world person “gets” is the “love bomb” from the inmate and feeling “special’; In the case of Manson’s “wife” I think her reasons may be the money he has socked away as well as the FAME (of a sorts) Apparently some news agency interviewed her parents and they are “normal,” whatever that means, and don’t understand why their daughter is doing this and have some kind of “troubled” relationship with her. No big surprise there.

    According to dr. Eric Berne, the author of “Games People Play” there is a PAYOFF of some kind to anything we do, a negative one or a positive one, but in either case, it is ATTENTION from someone else. So I guess that most likely sums up why these people pick a pen pal from among those incarcerated.

    • Joyce, when I was attempting to sort out my experiences with Victor, Mike, Bob, the second exspath that I’ll call, “Chuck,” (along with other encounters) it was one of them most difficult and painful challenges to face to call a spade what it was.

      I know that I have personally reacted to love-bombs, and pity-ploys, and that the cognitive dissonance played a tremendous role in how easily I was victimized. I think a lot of my childhood teachings simply said, “Forgive, forget, and take more abuse.” And, that’s pretty much what I did.

      So, coming to terms with the fact that a person is not going to change was almost physically painful. It hurt me, myself, to even contemplate that a person might be beyond redemption. For crying out loud, I was taught by the religion that I was raised with that EVERYONE (bar none) was redeemable and would be FORGIVEN of their SINS if they followed a certain ritual and spoke specific words. It took me a long, long time to recognize what a crock of stinking, steaming shiat that sentiment was!

      If a person talks the talk, they must walk the walk, as well. That’s why I have very serious personal issues with how certain entities and people discuss certain teachings.

      I cannot recollect the analogy that you always use, but it has to do with stuffing a viper into a sleeping bag and expecting it not to bite me if it says, “Hey, I’m really a ‘nice’ snake. I won’t bite,” and me having the raw nerve to even ACT surprised when it bites me. LMAO!!!!!!!!!!

      Nope, nope, nope…………I don’t want that kind of attention.

      Now, there is the other end of the inmate spectrum that is truly rare, and that is the inmate who actually learns from their mistakes, takes responsibility for their actions, and makes every effort to prevent themselves from making the same choices, again.

      There is a fellow who spent some time in prison that Bob met, about a year ago. He’s not within Bob’s inner-circle, by any means, but Bob did some dishwashing for his mother’s local eatery, and met this guy. The guy is sincere and he’s making an effort to better himself by going to chef school, etc. He experienced the loss of everything when he went to prison, and he’s rebuilding his life in a better way. BUT – having typed that does not mean that this guy is going to be gathered into MY proverbial fold and trusted, implicitly. I will be cordial and courteous, and keep my distance, and Bob has “gotten it” about this, as well, which is a huge milestone for him.

  14. Truthy, there ARE people who make a big effort to reform after a stint in prison, and my son’s friend Bobby Penny did so for about 3 years, but then he apparently got bored with the normal life most of us live, the go to work, come home, drink a beer, go to bed early, get up and go to work again…and then ended up going back to prison again. I’m not sure exactly WHY, but I think “boredom” with regular life is a big part of the problem. They are used to and almost “require” “excitement” and “danger.” in order to be “happy.”

    I call it an adrenilline addiction and I think they have learned to get their “fix” and their “high” from doing risky things, but there are POSITIVE ways to get a “fix”–racing cars on a legal track, sky diving, mountain climbing, bull riding, etc. and many many people, both men and women get their excitement in a LEGAL way. Psychopaths and those who are high in the psychopathic traits, however, have to return to the risk taking they have been used to…breaking the law. Dr. Robert Hare talks a lot about how they do NOT LEARN from their “mistakes” and they always blame them going to prison or getting caught on someone else not on what THEY did. Plus, for some people, prison is “home” and is filled with “fun” things to do like “putting one over” on the guards. Patrick seems to enjoy this activity, and even getting caught and put into solitary doesn’t seem to phase him, he just laughs about how LONG he got away with it and his solitary “time out” isn’t a big deal to him.

    Pithing off the guards is a “sport” and breaking the law is a “sport” to some people.

    I look at news reports of various people doing things that show that they despise the laws, and disrespect the police (and yes, some policemen are themselves high in Psychopathic traits and should not be allowed to wear the uniform) but in general, the police are just like the rest of us, mostly good, but a few bad apples, but the LAW is what helps protect us as a society from the people who don’t respect either the law or their fellow humans.

    If you look at the STATICAL ODDS: If a person has committed a crime that causes them to have a felony record and a prison stay, there is a 25% chance they are a full on psychopath, and therefore not to be trusted. AND since the AVERAGE score on the Psychopath check list-revised is 22 (with 30 being the “cut off” for legal definition of a psychopath) then there is still at least a 50% chance they are HIGH IN P TRAITS…and not someone you’d want to take home and keep for a pet. So therefore to me at least, a person with a felony criminal record (even one arrest) makes me believe that the person is not likely to be trustworthy enough to be in my inner circle.

    Yes, I do believe that some people who go to prison are innocent of the crime they are charged with, and some people who are guilty of that crime CAN choose to reform, but in general, I wouldn’t take a former inmate into my circle of trust, and I sure wouldn’t want to become “friends” with someone on death row or someone who is a repeat offender. The odds are just not with the “reform” agenda.

    For those people who ARE trying to get their lives back on track…GREAT! I will be cordial to them like you mentioned to the man studying to be a chef, but they aren’t going to be my “best friend” any time soon.

    • Joyce, you typed, “For those people who ARE trying to get their lives back on track…GREAT! I will be cordial to them like you mentioned to the man studying to be a chef, but they aren’t going to be my “best friend” any time soon.”

      AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

  15. I t5hink it is important that ex convicts be given a chance at a job when they get out, but usually most “jobs” available to ex cons are very low pay and their idea of how “wonderful it will be” when they get out is not going to come true. The study published in a book, called “The Felon” of the *expectations* of inmates for when they get out, versus what they actually find on release, shows that they expect things to be wonderful, but in reality they are minimum wage job, etc.

    Then there are those like my son’s friend Bobby Penny, who did okay for a couple of years but then got bored with “reality” and sought some excitement, that landed him back in prison again. He’s been there since 2006 or 7, and I think is due back out again in a year or so. He’s essentially been in prison for 30 years at this point, and he is pushing 50 years old now, and his family doesn’t want him back in the small town where they live and everyone knows everyone’s “dirt” and his wife took a powder, so things are not going to be great when he gets out this time either. He actually had a fairly good job for an ex con as a machinist, but he couldn’t stand the routine.

    Which I think is in some ways universal with the long time offenders, and he had been in like 25 years when he got out the first time (for murder) He had family support then and a good woman to support him but he just couldn’t keep it up. I doubt that he will stay out very long in the future.

  16. I just came across another article about writing to prison pen pals, that I found quite interesting.

    EXCLUSIVE: ‘Lovers and best friends’… Men and women reveal the remarkable relationships they have forged with convicted MURDERERS after sending letters to their prison cells

    These men and women have forged relationships with convicted killers
    They have become lovers and friends after posting letters to the inmates
    This is despite prisoners being jailed – some, on death row – miles away
    One woman even calls an inmate ‘Daddy’ and has changed her surname
    Now, the ‘pen pals’ have spoken to DailyMail.com about how they have come to love and empathize with citizens found guilty of heinous crimes
    Many claim their relationships have given inmates ‘hope’ and ‘self-worth’
    ‘He used to say ‘when they kill me’…. now he says ‘when i come home’


    To me it still staggers the imagination to me about how people become so attached to CRIMINALS…and the more violent ones are shown to be high in psychopathic traits, and very manipulative both for money and favors of these “well meaning” people. Jeffrey Dahlmer had 14 women ALL convinced he was in love with them and “engaged”—the pen pals don’t seem to “get it” that these people are BORED and have nothing but time on their hands and the pen pal thing eases this boredom.

    For those prisoners who DO get out, the free world pen pal is putting themselves at risk, but the free world pen pal constructs a FANTASY out of the correspondence. Some inmates of course will never get out, but the FANTASY of a “relationship” seems to be filling a missing place in their lives.

    It’s like they can’t find a satisfying relationship on the outside, so one with an inmate is “better than nothing” and fills a need in those people to have some sort of intimate relationship, even if it is only a fantasy.

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