Inmates who ask their penpals or “girlfriends” for money. It’s a topic I haven’t written about, but after receiving an email from a friend earlier this evening, it’s something I simply have to discuss.
I’m not going to make too many friends in prison for “telling it like it is” to all you free-world people, but I feel it’s my duty as a decent human being. If you’re in a relationship with an inmate who claims he “loves” you, and asks you to send him money, gift packages, $200 headphones, or any number of things…it’s very simple. Just don’t do it.
I am supposed to stand strong with my fellow inmates, but I just can’t. Each day, I see inmates taking advantage of women. They refer to them as “my fat chick.” They lie to and manipulate insecure women — women who are so desperate for love that they will spend every last penny of their paycheck on the inmate, even to their own demise.
I see women who can’t afford gas for their car, because their inmate-boyfriend needed money to buy a new tablet, or a new blanket, or a new $30 Under Armour T-shirt.
Today, the inmate asked his “girlfriend” to buy him new headphones. She found some good ones for $40, but he insisted on Beats by Dr. Dre. They’re several hundred dollars. He knows that this woman has no extra money to spend. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about her. And the sad thing is, I think she knows it, deep down, but isn’t able to face the reality.
Women always say, “oh I know I don’t HAVE to send him money, but I know it will make him happy.”. Or, “He knows this is the last time I’m able to help him.”. I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard that one! Again. And again.
Here’s what I will allow (not that I’m in charge, but let’s pretend I am). You can put money onto your (not his) phone account, so he can call you. You can transfer JPay stamps to him so he can write you emails. And, only if you can afford it, $40 a month (whether that is for JPay music, or commissary, or whatever. $40 is more than most inmates make here working full time jobs. Believe me, it’s plenty).
I don’t want you buying them a new TV, a new tablet, sending money when you don’t have it, falling victim to their guilt trips about how cold it is at night, how they need new sweatpants, etc. Odds are, when you send them money for their “new TV”, they won’t buy a new TV. The money will be spent on something else. I’ve even seen when a woman doesn’t send money quickly enough, the guy calls her collect and shouts obscenities at her. I hear it all the time. Bitch. Whore. Slut. And she keeps accepting his collect calls, day after day. It makes me sick.
Yeah, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but here it is: inmates lie. Most of us aren’t in here for being good people. Don’t feel too sorry for us. Many of the guys lie, manipulate, and what really upsets me is that the women KNOW it. I’ve heard, so, so many times, the women tell me: “Something isn’t quite right but I can’t pinpoint what it is.” Let me pinpoint it for you. You’re in love with an inmate who doesn’t give a shit about you. He has no problems using you for money. It’s really not different than the Nigerian money email scam. It’s the same thing, in a different form.
People may not want to believe me. People may tell me I’m wrong. But the truth is, I’m not wrong. And I encourage ANY woman who is reading this — anyone who has had a bad experience with an inmate — to PLEASE post a comment on this blog and share your experience(s). Share details about what the guy said, what he asked for, how much you sent, how he treated you, etc. I think your stories will help those who are still in denial to realize all of the similarities with their own stories. I want to use this forum to help people claim their lives back.
Trust me — you’ll be much happier when you can spend your own paycheck each month, instead of wasting it on an unappreciative douchebag.
Sorry this isn’t a well-written blog. I strive to write professionally, but I’m too upset and angry to do so this time.
And Anja, or Jenn W., or Marah — if any of you are reading this, go ahead and post a comment and tell everyone just how many times I’ve asked you to send me money, gifts, or anything. How many times I insulted you on the phone. And also tell them how many times I sent you money and gifts. A true boyfriend wants to give. A piece of shit only wants to receive. I just want people to know I practice what I preach. Thank you for reading and I promise I’ll be in a better mood (and more well-spoken) in my next blog.
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