April 28, 2016
by James Riva (author's profile)


For those who tried to write me but were prevented by the mail officer, I can now receive emails. But I can't send any out. To reply, I still need to use the regular mail. It costs you 25 cents to send me an email at: accesscorrections. com. Enter James Riva W38533 and the message.

[black-and-white pen drawing of a train curving around a small track. I been railroaded!]
[black-and-white pen drawing of an old timey dock from water's perspective. A boat and wooden houses rest by the shore.]
[black-and-white pen drawing of a steam train puffing up some steam.]


Replies (13) Replies feed

Jamie Posted 5 years, 11 months ago. ✓ Mailed 5 years, 11 months ago   Favorite
Hello James,
I just found out about this site today (26. June) and I'm surfing through all the profiles like crazy.
But you're the first one who I'm writing to, and I hope you'll get my comment.
I would prefer writing an actual letter or e-mailing you, but I live in Switzerland (so excuse my English, it's far from perfect), so that would be pretty expensive and I'm a student with no money.:')
Actually I just wanted to say that I love your artwork, it's beautiful.

I think prisons are really weird. You see, I read up on your crime and to be honest - it scares me. I will never understand how someone can kill another being so easily(humans or animals alike).
But at the same time, when I see that you've been in prison for more than 30 years, I'm shocked. I think, how can someone just take someone else's freedom away?
So weird. I don't know you (and all the other prisoners that I found on this site), but after reading a lot of posts and profiles, I feel sad and sorry for all.

Hope you get this comment and hope it makes you feel a little better,

James Riva Posted 5 years, 10 months ago.   Favorite
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Jamie Posted 5 years, 10 months ago. ✓ Mailed 5 years, 10 months ago   Favorite
Hello James,
Hope you're doing alright.
Personally, I'm an atheist and don't believe in any god, but I think if there is a hell and you truely regret what you've done you won't go there. I think god should be fairer than humanity. :) I just think "heaven" and "hell" make everything seem really black and white, you know. But no one's an absolutely pure angel, neither is anyone completely evil. It's always gray, y'know. And everyone makes mistakes - some are just worse than others.

Yeah it's kind of a pity that you can't sell them - or even make a lot of people see them. Mind if I ask if you have references for your artwork? Or do you just draw it from your mind? That's be really impressive.. Because I can't draw sh*t from my mind... :D
Say, could you tell me more about the prison you're in? Ahh, I'm probably really insensitive, sorry. But I'm wondering if it's like the horrible prisons that I see in TV or at least a bit humane.

Oh I'm only 16 years old, so I'm not really studying at like a university yet, just in regular school (would be high school in America, I think).
But lately I've been thinking about studying psychology.
I want to help people when I grow up. You said you were paranoid - if I could make people feel good, let them forget fear, greed, etc. or help them overcome a tragic past (like if you have a really bad childhood), that would be great.
I mean, a lot of serial killers for example had really bad childhoods that I can't even imagine. Of course that doesn't justify their actions, but if someone would've reached out and helped them soon enough, maybe everything would have gone different.

Sorry for writing so much, I may have gone a little overboard. :)
I look forward to reading from you again!

James Riva Posted 5 years, 9 months ago.   Favorite
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Jamie Posted 5 years, 9 months ago. ✓ Mailed 5 years, 8 months ago   Favorite
Hello James,
No problem! I don't except instant-messaging like answers from you, given the circumstances. ;)
Mhh, I'm perfectly fine without religion to be honest. When I was very little I was kinda catholic...ish. At least I used to pray with my grandma, but someday I just didn't believe in "god" anymore. :> But! Let's not talk about that. Everyone shall believe what they want to. :)
I'm particulary interested in your art, to be honest. Do you draw a lot? And can you also draw people?
Haha, they're far from reaching old age..:) My mother has just turned 40 and my step-father is... Uh... Like 37? And my real dad is an ass, so nope, I'll definitly not serve him!:P Fortunately I have a really good relationship with my mum (and stepdad). And they're not religious either, so they won't force me do worship anything, haha. I wasn't even baptized, because my mother wanted me to choose for myself~

Looking forward to hearing from you again!

James Riva Posted 5 years, 8 months ago.   Favorite
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Jamie Posted 5 years, 8 months ago. ✓ Mailed 5 years, 8 months ago   Favorite
Hello James,

Oh, I see. :/ Wait, you can tattoo in prison? Isn't that kind of dangerous?
Ugh, school. I'm always so demotivated when holidays end and school starts... But yeah, I'm doing okay. Mhhh, I'm best at languages I guess. English, German, French. It's funny that I write good grades in French because when I'm trying to talk... I always feel like I forgot everything from that language. But I'm acutally quite good in almost every subject. Or at least okay - my only insufficient grade is in sports/P.E., haha.
Yeah, I agree with you on the materialistic part. Today I found out how important wealth is to the girls of my class - looking for a rich boyfriend, you know. What! That's really sad.
Mhhh, I don't know. I guess I just have to deal with it that everyone dies. I don't know what comes after it and I don't think it makes sense to think too much about it. But actually, I think it can't be too bad (except when it's painful:C). It's just what nature does. So I'm just trying to live my life as good as I can. Trying to stay positive, to help others, change things... :)
I had to chuckle at the "so soon?" that you wrote. Because recently I read a story about an indonesian man who's 145! He'd be born in 1870 - can you imagine! But apparently now he just wants to die..
I'd love to talk to him, listen to what stories he has to tell...
Be well,

James Riva Posted 5 years, 7 months ago.   Favorite
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Jamie Posted 5 years, 7 months ago. ✓ Mailed 5 years, 7 months ago   Favorite
Hello James,

Did you draw a fly on the letter? It looks cool! Kind of creepy, but cool.

Sounds really dangerous, to be honest... Do the tattoos that the inmates get often get infected?
Very understandable that you don't do them! But I think it must be scary when they want you to do them and you decline, too, isn't it?
"Look I can make it look like a weasel winding a clock" <- That made me laugh.:D

I don't really know what to do in my future. First I have to finish 3 years of school. After that... I'll probably go to University. But I don't know what to study yet. Maybe psychology.

I don't really know what to reply to your second page. It's just sad when people ´choose to commit suicide. I mean, your body does everything it can to keep you alive, but this world makes you feel like there's no other way. I even understand why people would want to commit suicide. I've been there. But I would never be able to pull it off.

Why did you write "Jim" at the end of your letter? Nickname?

Take care,

James Riva Posted 5 years, 6 months ago.   Favorite
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James Riva Posted 5 years, 5 months ago.   Favorite
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@ArtistACP Posted 5 years, 2 months ago. ✓ Mailed 5 years, 2 months ago   Favorite
Hi James!

I like your art work.
It looks like as you would use the process of drawing to transform you inner feelings into something visible. I love the "They railroaded me" drawing the most. It is a very special self portrait of yourself. Keep up the good work!

Greetings from a fellow artist from Germany!

James Riva Posted 5 years, 1 month ago.   Favorite
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