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Death Row - What you need to know! General and State Specific questions/answers about Death Row - mail & more - whatever you need to know can probably be found here!

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  #1  
Old 08-18-2016, 05:12 PM
SAO SAO is offline
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Cool UK San Quentin Death Row Penpals....

This sub forum doesn't seem very busy but I thought I would try and get some answers. I wondered if anyone else from the UK writes to a friend or loved one in SQ?

I've been writing to someone but have been scared off of late after reading various things online about women being used and scammed etc. It also seems to seem a bit of a trend, lonely British women sitting writing letters and falling for prisoners! This is not me by the way. It's friendship only. I thought I was doing some good with my time and able to offer someone an insight to a different life but in his first letter he asked for stamps or money, should this ring alarm bells or normal? I trust no one but like to believe everyone

Where can I find rules on photos for SQ letters?

And can you receive calls to UK cell phones? If so how?

Not sure if it will get to calls or photos but handy to
Know for the specific location.

Thanks in advance to anyone that may see and reply.
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Old 08-19-2016, 01:26 AM
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There's a specific SQ Forum on here with all needed info on the prison and regulations, I'm sure you'll find all the answers there (or a moderator moves your post?)
As for scams, you'll find all sorts of people everywhere, inside and outside, so I'd say give it time, you don't need to do anything if you are uncomfortable, and, as a friend, you could also address your feeling of uneasiness if there is such, right?
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:11 AM
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I welcome to PTO. I am a fellow Brit and I have several penpals but not on death row. I have 4 penpals and all are unique individuals.Same maybe out to get all they can but there are those just looking for friendship.
If you've read through a lot of the posts in the archives of this forum, you will probably have also read a lot about people who are scammed or used. This does happen, but don't let it scare you off of trying to write an inmate. Just keep your wits about you and if you feel as though you are ever being pressured into giving more than your time and friendship, just be straight with them. Don't feel as though you are in any way obligated to provide anyone with phone calls, emails, care packages or money for their commissary.
Look out for red flags and you if in doubt ask on here our members will help you out and give advice.
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:43 AM
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Hi my husband is on Dr San Quentin
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAO View Post
This sub forum doesn't seem very busy but I thought I would try and get some answers. I wondered if anyone else from the UK writes to a friend or loved one in SQ?

I've been writing to someone but have been scared off of late after reading various things online about women being used and scammed etc. It also seems to seem a bit of a trend, lonely British women sitting writing letters and falling for prisoners! This is not me by the way. It's friendship only. I thought I was doing some good with my time and able to offer someone an insight to a different life but in his first letter he asked for stamps or money, should this ring alarm bells or normal? I trust no one but like to believe everyone

Where can I find rules on photos for SQ letters?

And can you receive calls to UK cell phones? If so how?

Not sure if it will get to calls or photos but handy to
Know for the specific location.

Thanks in advance to anyone that may see and reply.
It is important when writing inmates whether on death row or not to set boundaries right from the start, letting them know you are only looking to be friends and not willing to support them in any way financially. Having said that, if the guy you reached out to asked for money or anything that includes money in his first response, I would suggest you move on.
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Old 08-21-2016, 10:56 AM
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I also write to a guy on SQ death row
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Old 08-22-2016, 12:25 PM
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How did you find this particular inmate to write to? The situation could be considered differently if he had a profile on one (or more) of the penpal websites verses you wrote to him out of the blue.

It is not at all unusual for inmates to be all alone, not having any contact with friends or family. It can take years to end up Death Row in San Quentin, so any support that they may have had might have dried up long ago. I don't believe that D.R. inmates can have prison jobs so they can't earn any money.

While the cost of postage might not mean much to you it can represent an enormous cost to an inmate. Even worse for international mail. The prison will provide him with some stamps and stationary, but he could use an entire month's worth of supplies to write you back.

So it doesn't surprise me at all that he asks for stamps or postage. Note that California prisons allow sending stamps and stationary supplies to inmates, where most other states do not.

An inmate creates a profile on a penpal website because they want something. It could be just for some human contact that is from outside the prison, something to provide a break in the boredom. It could be that they are hoping that if they made friends that they might get a few extra dollars.

You are writing him for some reason. It obviously isn't for money, but there is some currency, some form of payback. He will also have reasons for writing you.

You will have to decide for yourself where the line is that makes it a "scam". Lying would certainly be a deal breaker for me. If he starts professing his love I would be very suspicious. But is it acceptable to you if he considers you to be a source of entertainment?

You can find a brief description of mail rules here:
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/visitors/docs...guidelines.pdf

If you want the full version and don't mind wading through a long legal document you can find it here:
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Regulations/A...tle15-2016.pdf

Note that I have experienced that there are differences between the written rules and what is actually enforced. In some cases things are more lenient, in other cases more restrictive.

My suggestions are:
1) No perfume or any scents on the letters.

2) No glitter, crayons, confetti, etc.

3) Blue or black ink or pencil only.

4) Photos are fine (up to 10), but don't send anything that could be considered objectionable. Pictures of tattoos can be objectionable. Nude (or even showing a lot of skin) pictures are not likely to get through. If you are not sure that a picture will be approved, send it in a letter that you wouldn't mind getting lost as they will toss the entire letter if they find anything objectionable in it.

5) If you send stationary supplies, note that there is a one pound limit, and you can't send it in a "box", it has to be an envelope. I have had such packages get lost, so I send several smaller ones rather than one large one.

Things are a bit more restrictive to death row inmates. If you send stamps, write his inmate number on the book cover, and write "Stamps included" on the face of the envelope.

I write to a San Quentin D.R. inmate and have been for over a year. We exchange about two letters a month. During that time I have sent him $50 and several stationary packages so that writing to me wouldn't be a hardship.

Good luck.

R. Mc.
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Old 08-22-2016, 03:05 PM
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Hi, I also write to a pal on SQ DR, have been for over 5 years and he is a genuine friend.
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Old 09-03-2016, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAO View Post
This sub forum doesn't seem very busy but I thought I would try and get some answers. I wondered if anyone else from the UK writes to a friend or loved one in SQ?

I've been writing to someone but have been scared off of late after reading various things online about women being used and scammed etc. It also seems to seem a bit of a trend, lonely British women sitting writing letters and falling for prisoners! This is not me by the way. It's friendship only. I thought I was doing some good with my time and able to offer someone an insight to a different life but in his first letter he asked for stamps or money, should this ring alarm bells or normal? I trust no one but like to believe everyone

Where can I find rules on photos for SQ letters?

And can you receive calls to UK cell phones? If so how?

Not sure if it will get to calls or photos but handy to
Know for the specific location.

Thanks in advance to anyone that may see and reply.
Death row inmates cannot work so they are 100% dependent on others to help out with funds for commissary, stamps, food packages, etc. He was premature in asking you for help so soon after you started writing, but maybe being up front with you was something he felt he needed to do right away. Still, be careful in how you respond, you don't know this man and you should behave just like you would with any stranger. Yes, they can call cell phones but you have to establish an account with the provider, GTL and prepay for time in advance of any calls. Being out of the country, you can set up a phone line thru TollFree Forwarding to give you a local # which you would then register with GTL. good luck and go slow.
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Old 09-03-2016, 12:38 PM
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Thanks everyone. Since my post we've exchanged quite a few letters and our friendship is going well. I told him all my concers and I believe he's been honest about things so just going to carry on writing and enjoy having a pen pal!

This forum is of great help x
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