AnyNumber:None

What do you give the man who has virtually nothing for Christmas?

I’m planning some surprises for my penfriend for Christmas. Now this isn’t an easy thing to achieve. Consider the list of items that will not get past the prison mailroom. Here is the list from the State Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation as to what cannot be sent in. Quite right too, it’s not a holiday camp after all for goodness’ sake! (In spite of the claims made in this article about the luxuries of Death Row; NOT true, btw, I can guarantee!)
  • No tattoo patterns or gang logos
  • No factory or handmade jewellery, clothing or food items
  • No glitter, stickers, address labels (other than the blue airmail sticker on the envelope)
  • No letters with perfume, powder, lipstick or oil stains on the envelope or letter
  • No glued, plastic, metal or laminated items
  • No cancelled checks, copies of cheques, copies of money orders, birth certificates, marriage licence, Photo IDs, deeds or credit card applications
  • No hand-painted art (children’s drawings are allowed as long as they are not in wax)
  • No cotton paper or tracing paper
  • No musical greeting cards
  • No lipstick, hair (human or animal) or unknown substance (body fluid)
  • No mail piece or item unable to be searched without destroying it
  • No unapproved mail from other State Correctional Facilities
  • No third party mail between individuals
  • No obscene materials, this includes, but is not limited to, material containing sexually explicit images, defined as images that depict frontal nudity, whether in the form of personal photographs, drawings, magazines or any other pictorial format
There is also a long list of topics which are disallowed in correspondence: incitement to commit crime, codes, maps and directions, descriptions of how to make weapons etc.

I was amused by “Contains illustration, explanations and/or descriptions of how to sabotage or disrupt computers, communications or electronics”. Better not send any Windows Vista instruction manuals then, lol!
So you can see from this how trying to come up with something fun and/or quirky is a bit of a challenge. I regularly send prints of photographs, printouts from web-pages, and have ordered books and magazines for my friend from publishers. These are allowed, though I cannot send in books or magazines myself. This Christmas, given the list above, there’ll be no baseball caps, knitted sweaters, glittery cards or phials of bodily fluids then. But it’s important for me to ensure that this year, he has something. I have a couple of mystery ideas which I’ll let you know about once I’ve investigated some more… feeling all smiley at the thought of surpising my penpal with something meant just for him which meets all the criteria of the mailroom censors.

And all this in spite of the fact that this guy would be most happy if he could only get a hug from his mom.

* * * * *

On another note, I am hoping soon to have some content in this blog from my penfriend himself. He said I could use his first name, but I’d rather not. Let’s call him ‘B’.

November 17, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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