Thanks to your participation in the Holiday Greeting Letters to Incarcerated Sex Workers, we set off a LOVE BOMB in prison mail rooms around the United States! More than 25000 Holiday greeting letters were sent by more than 1600 people who help public and private letter writing parties from across the globe. This is more than 3 times the number of letters we sent last year! It was so exciting to know that so many people cared and were able to show it with the gift of their time and treasure!
We are already receiving letters of appreciation from incarcerated folks who often feel they have been forgotten and had nothing to celebrate and the flood of mail coming into them really blew their mind!
Unfortunately – we have also been notified that some prisons were returning letters and cards and are not being very transparent about the reason. We know that Pennsylvania in particular refused many cards and letters and we will be investigating and questioning prison administrations that didn’t comply with the federal law that prisoners have the right to get mail! If you had a Holiday Greeting letter returned to you – please snap a photo of the envelope and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Mail call rolls around every prison and jail in the United States around 3:30 in the afternoon. Most prisoners try to act like it doesn’t matter and its no big deal because they don’t expect to be remembered. The dorms go silent and everyone hears the last names of the prisoners who have received mail being loudly called out.
||So everybody in the entire dorm knows who got mail and who didn’t. People who receive mail are recognized as having “peeps” on the outside and are usually less likely to be harassed by staff or by other prisoners. People who don’t get mail are seen as having no worth and are more likely to be abused, harassed and even assaulted by staff and other prisoners. Sending mail to people who are incarcerated can offer them a level of protection as well as helping them recognize their own worth and can help them find resources they might not otherwise have access to.
|SWOP Behind Bars has been regularly corresponding with over 2500 incarcerated folks for nearly 3 years now and we have seen what a difference it makes to not only have communication from the outside during a period of incarceration, but they also have resources to draw on once they are released.
||Are we the only ones with this idea? Absolutely not! There are many organizations around the country that reach out to incarcerated people and have a tremendous impact on the time they spend behind bars as well as their success on reentering society.
But prisons are doing everything they can to cut off communication between those who are inside and those who are outside by making up new regulations and new rules that can change on a whim.
THANK YOU for helping us reach so many vulnerable people who languish in prison! Our next Holiday Greeting campaign will be for Valentines Day!