Monday, April 27, 2015


From our friends at OZY:
In Denmark, a prison recently allowed inmates to launch their own dating site in the hopes that it will help prisoners adjust more easily when they are released.
Should prisoners be allowed to seek romance while serving out their sentences?
"Pen pal" websites hook singles up with lonely prisoners — and may be the best rehabilitation model around.

  • Phyllis Carter  Many naive young women will get pulled into relationships with criminals. In their innocent efforts to be kind, they may step into very dangerous situations. I met a criminal after he was released from prison. He was a guest speaker at a B'nai Brith meeting along with his prison chaplain. As a freelance journalist, I wanted to write his story. I stepped into a nightmare. I knew what was happening intellectually, but he was such a con, I got pulled in so fast, I never knew what hit me. I was lucky to escape with my life. But I did get my story. It ran for about 8 weeks in the early 1970's in the Lakeshore News and Chronicle in Montreal under my copyrighted column title - WITH SIX SENSES - My Dear Bank Robber. It drove the editor, Janet Burley Tremblay up the wall. It read like 1001 Nights. She didn't see it coming - didn't realize how complex the story was - and she couldn't cut me off until the story's end. Tremblay hired me as a full time reporter in the early 1980's.

    • Joshua Brennig  Thank you. Yours is the most valuable comment on this thread. I hope any woman who feels a tug at her heartstrings will read your remarks and sober up. Inmates are NOT acceptable choices, even as platonic penpals. How do you extricate yourself from someone who is already known to ignore boundaries? It's a tragedy waiting to happen.

    • Phyllis Carter In my case,Ted, - let's call him Ted - was very mild and pleasant with me. I wanted to help him. But he was not satisfied with my trying to help him find a job. He wanted me to introduce him to my friends in the town's government. I refused. Ted had been an alcoholic since he was a boy. Then he turned to drugs. He became a bank robber. He said he would go into a bank with accomplices and he would be the one with the machine gun. In his 30's, he had spent half his life in prison and had just been released from his most recent round. Now he said he wanted to go straight and to help other young people not to enter into the same lifestyle. When I refused to introduce him to politicians I knew, he said that he knew a small store in Verdun where an old man worked late at night alone and he was going to get money that way. Ted lied as easily as he told the truth - if he ever told the truth - You never knew. Was this just a way of forcing me to do what he wanted or would he try to rob the store and perhaps kill someone? I did not know. He had also told me that he could pick any lock, car or house - in seconds. So that night, I stood alone by my window looking out into the lamplit street, terrified for my family. Terrified that I was witness to a planned crime. Terrified that someone might be killed. I was in a state of shock. I called the police.

      "Tune in next week". I wish the series was online, but I don't think it is and it is much too long to copy from print to my keyboard.

    • April 27, 2015

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