What does it mean to be a penfriend?


Find out what a penpalship involves 

Become a Member

If you make the life-changing decision to become a penfriend with someone on death row in the USA, lifespark will be glad to welcome you as a member. In order to check that potential members are aware of the responsibility their future penfriendship involves, we interview you before confirming your membership. Only then do we assign you a penfriend. The first step is for you to fill in the contact form under Contact with a short message saying you would like to join lifespark and become a penfriend. But first, please read the contributions on this page!

What does it mean to be a penfriend?

“I have been alone in my life and ok with that. But now I need this more than anything else in the world: To talk to someone and give all I am to them and for them to agree or disagree. I need you not to feel pity for me but the truth so I can see myself better. I also need to get it out, to tell it as it happened to me and what I thought and felt so someone knows the truth.”

Mike, on death row for 15 years

“My pen friend has accepted me solely on the basis that I’m a human being. Her pictures, letters and friendship bring hope and light to me in this dark, negative and isolated place.”

B. Olan, Texas, on death row for 7 years

“To me, the correspondence is a mixture of bitter  pills and sweet surrender. In short, a story that only life could come up with.”

C. Conrad, lifespark member

Read more about being a penfriend!


The most important questions at a glance. Check out our answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Experiences, reports and interviews

Read through the exciting experiences, reports and interviews. We have made 7 categories for you below. Click on a category to see the content.

Advantages of being a member

Find out about the benefits you get from lifespark membership and what it costs.