WriteAPrisoner.com is an online Florida-based business whose stated goal is to reduce recidivism through a variety of methods that include positive correspondence with pen-pals on the outside, educational opportunities, job placement avenues, resource guides, scholarships for children impacted by crime, and advocacy.It is an organization established in October 2000 designed to help inmates find new contacts outside of prison walls, establish employment upon release, obtain educational opportunities, and ultimately, reduce recidivism. The site began primarily as a place to post pen-pal profiles and requests for legal assistance for inmates and has evolved to take a more comprehensive approach to addressing the life of an inmate.There are approximately 12,000 inmates profiled on the site, most of whom are incarcerated in the United States. However, the site also includes international inmates. Although the site provides no Internet access of any kind to inmates, it has often been called the MySpace and Facebook for inmates by the media.
The site received national media attention in July 2003 when Susan Smith, a young mother convicted of killing her children, posted a profile seeking pen-pals.With more than 2,000,000 Americans in prison today, this country is facing an incarceration crisis. The United States incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than any other country on the planet. Aside from helping inmates find friends and positive contacts on the outside, we’re working on many other projects to help reduce recidivism. Stop by write a prisoner today. The South Carolina Department of Corrections issued a press release related to the incident. WriteAPrisoner.com removed the profile at Smith’s request. The site received some criticism when its spokesperson used the term “freak show” to describe the media coverage of the Susan Smith story. The site later issued a press release apologizing and stating that the term had been taken out of context. The site has been featured on many programs including 20/20 and E! True Hollywood Story. In March 2006, the site made local news when it posted a profile for Adrian Peeler who was convicted in the killing of an eight year old boy and his mother. The site immediately removed Peeler’s profile when the story was featured in the Connecticut Post.
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