Written by Melissa Bee

July 6, 2015

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Art by California inmate M. Garcia

Enter your email to subscribe to our quarterly e-newsletter, full of resources for advocates of inmates, and occasional news updates (a few times a year):

Two years in the making, Adopt an Inmate is officially launched! Please visit often, and help us spread the word by sharing our site with others. This blog page will be updated regularly (scroll down) with news, events, and contributions from both staff and YOU.

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  1. david kinsella

    This is a wonderful site for anyone who really cares about helping inmates and the families of inmates. Just knowing that you are not alone and there is hope and resources available to you means the world of difference.

    • mbee

      Thanks for the support Dave!

  2. Thomas Jackson

    Email: conscancare@yahoo.com
    We are another group serving inmate families to obtain information to help there incarcerated loved one and to assist inmates coming home with the resources to make it on the outside.

  3. Brittany M

    I have been a pen-pal to several young men incarcerated for almost 2 years. At first, my goal was not to be a penpal. I was writing a close friend who had just been incarcerated. As me and him begin writing, he start discussing the horrid conditions of the prison, the guards, and all the violence that took place among some of the other prisoners. His accounts of prison life didn’t sit well with me because I don’t feel like anyone should be subjected to this type of danger ever. I grew greatly interested in prisons and prisoners. My friend offered to have his cell mate and other individuals incarcerated write me and tell their stories and experiences. As I started corresponding with others I question the function of prisons and how effective they actually are in rehabilating those locked away. More often inmates experience more trauma within prison and the trauma typically goes untreated. I feel that prisons can be not only traumatic but severely inhumane. Once I begin writing I learned of deep emotional scars, loss, and hopelessness that these particular guys seem to have in common. As “free” citizens sometimes we look at incarcerated individuals as felonious subhuman beings who inadvertently don’t experience pain or feel sorrow. Sometimes, we forget to question why this person may have went down the path that led them to prison. Through being a pen-pal my perspective has broadened on the criminal justice system and the great failure of mass incarceration. I learned that we can benefit and grow from those incarcerated . We can tell their stories and prevent others from going down that same path. The last couple months I have been feeling slightly stagnant in my corresponding with inmates because I feel like they require deep emotional and spiritual support I’m unable to sufficiently give. I am encouraging and loving but I feel like I’m lacking something. So I decided to contact adopt an inmate because I have heard great things about this organization. I admire the hardwork, love, and care the letter writers give to their adoptee. I feel like my friend and the other inmates would benefit from being apart of a network that provides them with love and consideration they feel they lack. Giving love unselfishly to an inmate who feels forgotten and silenced is not only a blessing to them , but a blessing to you as well !

    • mbee

      Brittany, thank you for such a thoughtful comment about the effects of incarceration and its effect on human beings. Everything you write is backed up by the avalanche of letters we receive every week. The sheer magnitude of trauma, abuse, and suffering is astounding. The simple act of writing a letter can change someone’s life. Thank you for caring.

  4. Michelle Mendoza

    I went to visit my son today who is incarcerated and he told me about this program…Adopt an Inmate. I too do something similar. I write several ladies and a couple of gentlemen. I am a Christian and want them to know how precious and beautiful they are. That no matter what Jesus loves them and that they have value and worth. So I applaud what you are doing and I will pray that it flourishes.
    God Bless. I was also once incarcerated in TDC and too many times to count in county….So I know exactly what it is like to hear your name at mail call.
    Thank you for your heart.


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