Pen Pals & Requests

**Note:  We have been getting a lot of letters requesting information/advice around drug and alcohol moderation/sobriety and reentry. So if you have lived experience with either, we would especially love for you to get involved!!

  • Buy a BookBuy a book for one of our friends behind bars. We’ve created amazon.com wishlists based on the requests and interests of folks who have written us. You can also check out individual Amazon.com Wishlists by “Friend-Ing” Alex, who created the SWOP Behind Bars amazon.com account, and then clicking the “friends” tab.
  • Sponsor a Newsletter! Currently, we are sending a monthly newsletter to just under 300 individuals. We’re also responding to every letter we receive, including informational resources, worksheets, or specific things folks have requested. (we’ve gotten about 80 letters so far).  It costs about $12.00 to send a monthly newsletter for a year, and about $15.00/person to be able to send 10 packets with things like reentry materials, resources, self-addressed, stamped envelopes, and adult education study materials. We would be incredibly grateful for your support in getting these resources to our peers behind bars.
  • Send a Support Note, or Donate to Someone’s Commissary! Below, you can find a list of individuals who have either given us the go-ahead to share their information, or folks others are organizing around. Scroll down for more details!

If you would like to include someone on this page, please email katherine@swopusa.org, who is helping us out with this page!

EDWIN FAULKNER & JUAN CARLOS

On October 15, 2015, Edwin Faulkner, 30, and Juan Carlos Martinez-Herrera, 26, were convicted of the murder, kidnapping, and robbery of a client who died during sex. When their client died, they panicked and went to Florida where they were later taken into custody. After being help at Rikers for nearly 4 years, they were sentenced to 25-90 years for robbery and 2nd degree murder.

1.) Write! Send support letters or pen pal letters to:

Edwin Faukner [DIN# 16-A-1231]
Clinton Correctional Facility
1156 Rt. 374 PO Box 2001
Dannemora, New York 12929
 ***
Juan Carlos Martinez-Herrera [DIN# 16-A-0467]
Clinton Correctional Facility
1156 Rt. 374 PO Box 2001
Dannemora, New York 12929

2.) Donate! Edwin & Juan are indigent, and funds for shoes, snacks, and other things to keep these folks comfortable are so important! To donate, send a check or money order payable to: Edwin Faukner OR Juan Carlos Martinez-Herrera. Include his DIN number – 16-A-1231 OR  16-A-0467 in the memo.

Send the money order to the address listed above.

Edwin Faulkner 16-A-1231 OR Juan Carlos Martinez-Herrera 16-A-0467
Clinton Correctional Facility
1156 Rt. 374
PO Box 2001
Dannemora, New York 12929

3.) Send Books! Edwin enjoys fantasy books. NEW, paperback books shipped directly from a major publisher, like Amazon.com, are accepted at Clinton. Send them to the address above. If you have an Amazon.com account, use our our Amazon.com wishlist to avoid duplicates!

 

AMY DAVIS

Was a victim of human trafficking who was later sentenced to life without parole for acting in an accomplice role in the murder of a client. She would like resources to facilitate self-help groups around trauma behind bars. In particular, she is seeking:

  • Warning signs (of trafficking, domestic violence).
  • Curriculum for women who have experienced trauma, domestic violence (exercises, etc) + any self-help books, newsletters, etc.
  • Statistics on human trafficking/domestic violence.
  • List of orgs that provide support to victims of domestic

We’ve created an amazon wishlist with books around facilitation and trauma therapy.

You can also send any resources you have to Amy at: Amy Heather Davis X28708 | CCWF 516-3-4 low | P.O. Box 1508 Chowchilla, CA, 93610-1508

“Facilitating is one of my passions and what I want to facilitate is workshops around Trafficking and bringing healing as well as awareness. The stigma placed upon us only feeds our inner shames and I want to break down the chains of shame. There was no human dignity….I have met so many women criminalized and dehumanized, by stigma & shame. My pimp & his friends are free, while I live to die in prison. I fall under the coerced into acting as an ‘accomplice.’ Yet I alone was convicted…

“The purpose of this letter is to seek assistance in creating a self-help curriculum…information, stories, etc. to help me in creating a healing process for those who have been trafficked and awareness for others? Many incarcerated women have experienced some kind of abuse, domestic or sexual. Statistics on human trafficking. Lists of orgs that provide assistance to trafficking victims, warning signs, domestic violence warning signs, shelters, & programs that assist victims.”

CRYSTAL L.

Requests/Ways to Help Crystal is awesome and is up for starting a peer-led suport group around reentry in Lowell. To support her in this, it’d be great if folks could send her books, worksheets, resources or offer mentoring and support around reentry, finding work with a convictions record, and group facilitation.

You can order books to her from an Amazon.com Wishlist we created!  This helps avoid duplicate books and to ensure books get through!

You can also write to her! Email swopbehindbars@gmail.com for her address! You can include stamped, return-addressed envelopes. Books must be shipped from a publisher. Original correspondence [letters] can be as long as you want, but you can only include 15 pages of print-out material/articles/etc.

STACEY E.

Is looking for a pen pal (you can send support letters, too)! She’s looking for support / positive feedback around substance recovery, as well as just general communication & letters. Email katherine@swopusa.org for her full name & address!

GIGI MARIE THOMAS

Gigi

Gigi Thomas, MSW, is a leading human rights advocate and a transgender woman of color who has worked for more than 15 years in the support of people in need in the DC area: trans women, people in the sex trade, low income people of color.

Last year, Gigi was arrested and charged with first degree murder, Gigi saved her own life. How often is it that our trans sisters and leaders are murdered? Against all odds, Gigi lived.
In 2001, I met GiGi. I was 2 hours away from her in Virginia; she was in DC. She drove two hours to get me, two hours to my mother’s for clothes, and two hours back to DC. She paid for storage and allowed me to call her all weekend until I got into Covenant House, which provided a 30 day apartment with a pregnant peer. Two weeks after the 30 day stay in Covenant House, I got an apartment in southeast DC. She never left me. She never found a reason not to help me, as most people in my life did prior.
She deserves support because she has touched more lives than mine and she does more good on the outside of a cage than inside. She needs support because we kill people of color like we are throwing away an old newspaper; we kill transgender people like we are changing clothes. At some point we have to stop this. I stop and start with someone who introduced me to love and a life worth surviving for. I am blessed to be touched by GiGi and people are blessed by the work I do and I hope my daughter and people I have touched continue to spread the love GiGi introduced to me.
-Bonnie Beverly Scott, SWOP MD
GiGi was charged with first and second degree murder degree murder. She was not given bail despite deep connections with the wider D.C. community. Behind bars Gigi is not just passively shuffling through systems, she is changing them as she is pushed through them, educating her attorney about issues trans women of color face and advocating for trans women behind bars at her facility. It would be impossible to exaggerate what a rock star & asset to our community Gigi is. 

Ways to Help

1.) Remember Her work! Don’t ever forget about her and let her work go to waste.

2.) Help pay her legal fees and keep Gigi comfortable waiting for trial! Contribute & share her Generosity account! Gigi needs our help paying for her lawyer and making sure Gigi can afford personal items & food through commissary. The Generosity fundraiser was organized by BPPP director Penelope Saunders with Gigi’s family, and it’s the best way to make sure Gigi has the best representation possible in the face of racial and anti-trans bias in court and make sure her needs are met.

3.) Come to her trial on September 13, 2016! We need to fill the court room & show how much Gigi has touched the community. More details will follow, but if you are on the East Coast, save the date!

4.) Write a support letter to GiGi!  Gigi Marie Thomas, PG County Correctional Center, 13400 Dille Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772! If you like, send a photo, so Gigi can get a sense of the the people who are fighting for her and her life.

 

ALISHA WALKER
Justice for Alisha
Requests/Ways to Help

1. “Like” and Share the Justice for Alisha Walker Facebook Page! Invite your friends to like and share this page too! This is the best place to get up to date information about organizing efforts and her case!

2. Send Alisha a letter of support. Alisha is currently being held in the Logan Correctional Center. You can send letters of support to her at Alisha Walker #‎Y12381‬ Logan Correctional Center 1096 1350th St PO BOX 1000, Lincoln, IL 62656.

3.  Donate to Alisha’s fundraising page! Alisha’s mother Sherri has set up an Indiegogo page to help cover any legal fees and other expenses, like travel for visits from her family and commissary. If you are unable to give, by all means either share the page itself or this post.

 

LATESHA CLAY

Latesha, a 15-year-old African-American teen and mother to two toddlers who was sentenced in an adult court to 9 years in jail for being used as bait in a scheme to rob men responding to a Backpage escort ad placed for her. She’s also an awesome human being who loves memoirs, cooking, learning languages, & most of all her kids.

latesha

Requests/Ways to Help

1.) Sign the Change.org petition requesting clemency or an appeal, organized by the Survivors Connect Network.

2.) Donate to Latesha’s fundraiser. This will go to help Latesha’s older sister take care of her two babies, go to her commissary and help her buy books. She loves music and is trying to save up for an mp3 player right now.

3.) 3.) Purchase & send a book to Latesha off an amazon wishlist we created, or select one yourself. Right now, she’d love Sandra Cisneros books, memoirs, cook books, fun books about science, & language-learning books.

 

ALIX TICHELMAN

Alix Tichelman is an awesome lady who got defamed by media when a Seeking Arrangement client, who was also a Google executive, overdosed.

Requests/Ways to Help

1.) Like a the facebook page organized by Alix’s friends.

2.) Buy and send a book to Alix from the Amazon.com Wishlist we created for her, based on her requests.

3.) Write a letter to Alix! You can write her at: Alix Tichelman #249840, 141 Blane St., Santa Cruz, CA.

4.) Buy some commissary items for Alix. Details about how are on the facebook page.

TRACY ELISE

tracey_elise_prayer

The leader of the Phoenix Goddess Temple, Tracy believed in tantra and sexual healing as sacred practice. She was convicted of 22 criminal charges connected to prostitution and promoting prostitution, and sentenced to 4.5 years in prison and four years of probation on May 19th. Prior to her sentencing date, she had already spent 305 days in jail.

Requests/Ways to Help

1.) Visit & Follow the Goddess Bless website, a group of people organizing around Tracy.

2.) Sent Love and Support to Tracy! Tracy has been assigned a unit, and she can now get letters, magazines & books!

ASPC – PERRYVILLE, SANTA ROSA UNIT
Tracy Elise, #310541
P.O. Box 3500
Goodyear, AZ 85395
.

3.) Help pay for Tracy’s appeal & put money on her books! Now that the trial is over Tracy needs more support than ever. Her team is working to find a lawyer to file an appeal and take this case to the 9th circuit supreme court. Donations are processed through the Oklevueha Native American Church (ONAC) Mother Medicine Wheel.