Join The Campaign’s Pen Pal Program

Death row inmates interested in requesting a pen pal should mail their request to the Campaign national office, along with a brief description of your interests to help us match you with a pen pal on the outside.

Greetings Fellow Abolitionists,

My name is Daniela Dwyer-Grove, and I am the new coordinator for the Campaign to End the Death Penalty’s nationwide pen pal program. I’m writing to encourage all of you to sign up for a pen pal on death row.

As most of you know, being kept on death row is a dehumanizing and extremely lonely experience. I’ve received many requests from death row inmates searching for pen pals on the outside who can help ease the monotony and abandonment.

Here are a few excerpts showing their need for contact:

"My name is Michael...and I’m a prisoner on death row in Arizona who could really use some friendship from anyone from the outside world. I’ve spent the last 17 years fighting with all of my heart for my life and freedom. I would really like to correspond with anyone who might have the time. I’m without family or any real close friends, and it would be great to have someone to talk to."
-- Michael, Arizona death row

"I am just looking for a friend, a person whose words are not empty like the wind. One who knows the meaning of friendship and will work at it as hard as I will."
-- Greg, Texas death row

"I’ve been locked in 100 percent isolation for the past eight years. Life in isolation without receiving mail is a loneliness I hope you never have to endure. I was wondering if you or someone you know would be interested in corresponding with me, please?"
-- Danny, Arizona death row

I have been corresponding with a death row inmate for several years, and it’s been one of my most rewarding experiences in the fight for abolition. It may be awkward at first to correspond with a stranger. But any letter you write, even if it only takes five minutes, produces valuable affirmation for someone badly in need of it.

Being a pen pal is also a way to actively fight for prisoner’s rights. A few years ago in Texas, inmate pen pals communicated to the outside world the horrible and unconstitutional prison conditions on death row. Through their pen pals, those inmates broke the code of silence, and the system was forced to make some reforms.

The criminal injustice system is determined to convince those on death row that they’re worthless sub-humans --"things" which everyone in society has either forgotten or wants dead. We think differently. Please consider signing up to be a lifeline for a death row inmate.

Just write the national office at Campaign to End the Death Penalty, Pen Pal Program, P.O. Box 25730, Chicago, IL 60625. You can also email your request to cedppenpals@hotmail.com. We’ll send you a pamphlet about the pen pal program, with no commitment required.

Remember, people like Michael, Greg and Danny are awaiting your answer!