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'Do not be caught off guard' by plaintive letters from inmates

Dec 5, 2013 - Brenda Lutz, Riverton

Editor:

I saw in The Ranger a letter to the editor from a Charles Kolb of Bessemer, Ala. He said he was a former Riverton resident but now a prisoner in a penitentiary in Alabama.

It is possible that what he said about himself is the truth, but everyone should beware of this kind of letter from a prison inmate. A lot of times, all the inmate wants to do is get a relationship with a kind person who reads the letter and takes pity on the inmate. This type of letter appears usually during the holiday season.

Once the inmate gets to know the kindly person, he might try to take improper advantage of the person in many different ways, from money to emotional distress, and making unwanted contact with the person once the inmate is released.

I do not mean to make people feel paranoid, but I am sorry to say that I have first-hand experience with this, and it was not fun. So please be careful, everyone.

We all want to be compassionate if we can, but it is my feeling that just as many prisoners who are legitimate in what they write are actually trying to pull a fast one. Do not be caught off guard.

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