Conner is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at George Washington University who has worked as a probation counselor to jailed youth and has conducted clinical work in forensic and correctional settings for about three years.
A pen pal can project all of her hopes and dreams on an inmate who wants nothing more than to be a repository of those desires, Conner explains.
The physical boundaries between me and Justin only served to release us from our inhibitions; nothing was off limits. After a few months, we were talking on the phone in daily 15-minute bursts, and we wrote letters to each other every day.
Justin said his friend turned the gun on him and demanded that he help bury the bodies; Justin was, in turn, arrested and imprisoned.
I had pushed myself to get through my final year at Georgetown.
I’d tell him about quitting Subway after only a few weeks, and then I’d describe my nights working at the next job, front desk clerk at a hotel and casino.
He’d describe a fight he’d witnessed and poker games with his new cellmate.
I no longer had to push myself to maintain a full-time job and a decent GPA and good social standing, so I swung to the other extreme.