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Dear Inmate: Prison Pen Pals

February 10, 2023 – April 14, 2023


There are almost 2 million individuals incarcerated in the United States, a majority of which are re-offenders or have served prior sentences. Many individuals experience a sense of hopelessness or despair while behind bars. Organizations such as and Wire of Hope have developed prison pen pal services to pair those serving time with individuals on the outside who are willing to exchange letters. It has been statistically proven that those who maintain meaningful connections to the outside world while incarcerated are less likely to re-offend.

This temporary exhibit will look into the world of prison pen pals, both romantic and platonic, how pen pals positively impact the recidivism rate, and how violent criminals such as Ted Bundy or Richard Ramirez have found love after their convictions.

Featured Objects:

  • Richard Ramirez Prison Letter
  • Contraband Weapon Archive
  • Wyoming Prison Handbook
  • Inmate Uniform
  • ________

    Alcatraz East hosts temporary exhibits, in partnership with outside organizations, related to crime and law enforcement topics.

    If your organization is interested in proposing a temporary exhibit, please email .

    Learn More About Our Other Temporary Exhibits.

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