Several participants reported that feelings of loneliness were a significant factor in their suicide attempts. Most of the inmates who expressed such feelings said that they felt isolated from the outside world and within the prison. These feelings were related to relationship difficulties.However, in many cases inmates felt lonely despite communicating with other inmates and family members. This topic appeared to be more a part of depressive symptoms than of relationship issues.
Several studies suggest the prisoner’s mental health is dependent on his contact with the outside world”
We found that something as simple as a pen pal relationship can lead to tangible benefits for prisoners,Given the recent rise in prison violence and suicides, increased prison overcrowding and the current resource pressures on the prison system, letter-writing seems an extremely valuable way to provide greater support for prisoners, based on genuine relationships of care and trust, at remarkably little cost
Providing support to inmates
Many inmates have become out of sight, out of mind to their family and friends, and receiving a letter at mail call can lift spirits, let the inmate know that they are not alone, and help eliminate the monotony that goes along with being incarcerated
Correspondence allows people to maintain and even strengthen bonds and ties within a community despite being physically disconnected, and it is one way to facilitate reentry into society
More recently, the National Institute of Corrections suggested that visitation may facilitate the development of healthy family and friends relationships.That may constitute an important ingredient in the offender’s support and network after release. Furthermore, states are reexamining their prison policies .In some cases, recommending increased prisoner access to visitation, mail correspondence, and telephone communication