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Alcatraz East – Dear Inmate: Prison Pen Pals

Feb 10
Apr 14

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 WriteaPrisoner.com 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


Feb 10
Apr 14


Alcatraz East
2757 Parkway
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863-5266 United States
+ Google Map
(865) 453-3278
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