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Those who end up behind bars in the USA, for whatever reason, usually enter a hard world of hopelessly long term sentences and solitary confinement, aggression, humiliation, discrimination and bad living conditions. Throughout the years many prisoners have lost contact with the outside world. They rarely get visitors because family and friends often live too far away or have chosen not to communicate with the "scapegoat" of the family anymore.

There are about 3.000 prisoners on death row, mainly men, who are awaiting a next phase in the appeal path or a warrant for execution. Being locked up for 23 hours a day in a 1.80 x 2.20 m cell, is the rule rather than the exception for death row prisoners. They are not allowed to work. A capital punishment procedure can take a long time: 15 to 20 years are no exception. The situation is extremely depressing.

Therefore, corresponding with someone from the outside world can become of vital importance to these prisoners. A sign that someone cares. A gleam of hope, light in the darkness, encouragement. However, corresponding with someone on death row should not be taken lightly. Beforehand you should ask yourself whether you will be able to continue corresponding, possibly until the prisoner's death. An execution is a horrible and unnatural way to die.

Inside-Outside is focussed on prisoners in the USA because the English language is accessible to us. We believe that writing to prisoners in other countries is equally meaningful, however, we do not have sufficient assistance and practical facilities for extending services in this field.

We coordinate correspondence only for prisoners who have to serve life without parole or a death sentence.

Those wishing to correspond via our organisation must have attained the minimum age of 18. We would emphasize that the majority of inmates on whom such severe punishment has been imposed, are older. It is therefore not always possible to find inmates of a similar age for those in this young age-group.

For those of you who wish to become involved, we request a once-only contribution to the minimum amount of EUR 5,00 or USD 10.00. You then become a supporter of our foundation during the current calendar year.

Besides providing addresses for correspondence, Inside-Outside can also be contacted by members in case there are questions or problems.

The board of Inside-Outside:
Mrs. Else Bougie  chairperson/LWOP
Mrs. Marie-Thérèse Göbbels  secretary
Mr. Marien Bultman  treasurer
Mrs. Tineke Vriend  death penalty
Mrs. Agnes Steenssens  contact for Flanders

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Last modified: April 4, 2016 www.stichting-inside-outside.org
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