There were some recent posts about missing letters on JPay, pace of writing to inmates, wondering if fewer letters or less responsive letters indicate a lack of interest on the part of the inmate. So I thought I'd share what just happened right now. I have a pp that I'd noticed was writing less frequently lately. Normally I'd hear from him once or twice a week on JPay and I'd write him back at the same pace, but lately his letter frequency had slowed and he'd skipped a week twice. Also his letters began to have the strange quality of sounding less engaged, stepping back more, not less friendly but more light and chatty. And not responding to things I'd said in previous letters, and not introducing new questions to me. I'd just begun to notice this, and feel ever so slightly miffed at the idea he was losing interest, but I'd been telling myself he was likely distracted by a big upcoming visit he had with an old friend. And I kept writing at my usual pace or maybe a little slower, just kind of stepping back, not less friendly but more light and chatty. Sometimes I brought up something I'd said before if I was still looking for his response to it, but I didn't pester him with other questions because he hadn't answered my earlier ones yet. And I waited. Yes, you know what's coming. I just heard from him now and he was a little sad sounding this time and he wanted to know if he'd said anything wrong in his last letter, because he wasn't hearing back from me as much lately, and he wondered if everything was alright.
So tonight I'm going to figure out which of my letters never reached him, and/or which of his didn't reach me. Mystery solved.
I say this all to make a point, that it's common for letters on JPay to have long time lags and even to just go missing without a trace. And this being the case, it's doubly important to not jump to conclusions about what it means when you haven't heard back yet, or what you should do about it. I'd say if everything else logically and gut-wise tells you there's no reason to be concerned, but it almost feels as though they haven't been listening to you lately or you haven't heard back yet...it's just really likely to be a JPay problem, not an interpersonal problem. And keep throwing out letters even if you haven't heard from them in what seems like too long. And ask them about it. It's the first possibility to rule out, in my mind.