Over 40 years of inmate visitation
For over 40 years, the Person to Person (P2P) inmate visitation program has matched volunteers with male inmates at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary. These visits provide the inmate with positive social support that can help build integrity in their lives and lessen feelings of isolation. Inmates voluntarily sign up for the program, and there is always a waiting list for inmates needing a volunteer. Since the program’s inception in 1974, over 2500 inmates have been visited, with some volunteers driving as far as Kerrobert, SK – a 7 hr round trip!
Writing Letters to Inmates
During Covid 19
Please consider participation in writing letters to inmates at Saskatchewan Penitentiary. You can email letters to myself, firstname.lastname@example.org and I will address the letter and mail it to one of the inmates in our program who has voluntarily signed up for our prison visitation program. (P2P)
Our program throughout the years has repeatedly received feedback from inmates on how important it is to hear from community members and about what life on the outside is like. They comment on how this contact makes them feel more human and less isolated.
SOME TIPS FOR WHAT TO INCLUDE
These are just suggestions, no pressure to include these things:
- Include a hopeful quote or scripture and explain why you find it to be encouraging or how it provides you with hope.
- Write about something in nature or in your community that you are seeing right now that gives you hope for new beginnings.
- Write about a favourite character in a book, movie, or show, and how they overcame a struggle and found a new path forward.
- 1-2 questions about their mental health
- – What is your greatest fear during this time?
- – What is bringing you comfort at this time?
- – Do you have anyone to talk to about any anxieties or fear you are feeling?
- The following list with your thoughts on…
5 things you are grateful for during this time,
4 things that you miss/or dislike during this time,
3 places where you are finding hope, and
2 things you look forward to when this is over,
1 thing you are struggling with and a positive way you are coping with that struggle. (ask them to answer the same questions)
You may write your first name at the end of the letter/email, but do not include any other personal info, such as contact information, where you work what school you go to, or your age. For safety reasons we will keep all personal information confidential. If the inmate does wish to reply, it will be through our office, with your privacy being maintained. This may be a onetime letter/email sent for the purpose of encouraging the inmate to find hope and provide them with a connection to the community. The men inside who are not writing back may have low writing skills or may not have access to a stamp. They do not have access to email or the internet.
“We believe that warm, nurturing friendship is a basic need of all people and is the catalyst that promotes healing of offenders. P2P sees offenders, as well as victims, as wounded people, and reaches out to involve those hurting people in strong healthy relationships that offer hope.”
MAKE AN IMPACT
Positive social connection is the most powerful healing tool humans have. Volunteers with passion for engaging with those in our justice system with compassion and support are needed.
By becoming a volunteer in our programs, you will provide a positive social connection to those who are most isolated in our society.
“The visits help me feel more human than I was feeling – it has helped me turn my life around — no more suicide attempts.”