My little brother is currently in jail, and will likely be staying there or in a similar facility for quite a while. He is only allowed to receive postcards, and softcover books mailed from Amazon or B&N. If either of these items violate the byzantine regulations (details contained within), they will not reach him. What are some creative things that are basically just pieces of paper (no paint, stickers, double layers, etc)
I can send as postcards? What are some books that won’t be taken away for sex, drug, gang, etc content
you’d recommend for a 23 year old male who never really read for pleasure, recently earned his GED, and likes Hunter S. Thompson?
posted by Juliet Banana to Writing & Language (100 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
- I have a pile of touristy postcards, but since I’m sending 1-2 a day I’m quickly running out. What stores sell postcards in Chicago, Illinois? Any interesting online vendors?
- The jail recommends buying a package of cardstock and cutting it down to the permitted sizes. What are some other materials I could use to keep it interesting? Cereal boxes?
- I can send items to my mom, who lives in the state and can visit him; she can drop items in the on-site mail drop. These items will be accepted without a stamp provided that the address is still written on it. My brother tells me that it is common for people to drop photographs with addresses written on the back as “postcards.” What are some other ideas like this? What should I take photos of?
- What are some ways I can make sending postcards every single day easier on myself? For example, I bought a little plastic pocket-folder perfectly sized to hold postcards & a booklet of stamps, so I can keep some extras in my messenger bag at all times for quick written-on-the-bus notes. I found out that the post office sometimes sells little booklets of postage-paid postcards. I love the little “sketchbooks” of postcard-sized watercolor/etc paper you can buy at art supply stores.
- What are some interesting things I can send instead of just “Hi how are you this is what I did today love you”? Hand-drawn comics? Little watercolor paintings? Quotes from famous figures? Connect the dots? Riddles? Jokes?
- The only book he’s specifically requested so far is “The Rum Diaries” by HST, which was sent back to my mom for sexual content.
- He specifically said "no self help books."
- The only book I remember him loving in high school was “The Color Purple.” He recently read through all the Harry Potter novels in jail.
- I have no shame about sending him young adult novels; his reading level probably isn’t all that much higher, and heck, I still read them sometimes. No shame.
- He was never a voracious reader, so he likely missed a lot of classics. What would be interesting/funny/fast-paced and not too dry, boring, dense or difficult?
- Has anyone ever worked in a prison who has an idea how they determine censorship? We’re guessing that Rum Diaries was either rejected on the title or maybe someone had seen the movie; if I sent, say, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins (an example of the kind of book I think he’d enjoy but probably can’t send), how would they determine that it is inappropriate?
- I think he would enjoy comic books and graphic novels.
- If there are puzzle/activity books, like Sudoku, that are way cooler and less lame than Sudoku, that would be rad to know about as well.
When I was a teenager in a residential treatment center, my little brother bought me Kid Koala’s first comic book, Nufonia Must Fall, that I’d been looking forward to for months with his own money and sent it to me. It was one of the few bright moments in one of the most difficult times of my life. I love him very much, and I owe him.
Since I would be dying of curiosity if I read this question, the charges are drug-related. He’s made many mistakes but hasn’t hurt anyone but himself. Thank you for your help.
Rules For Sending Postcards:
1.As of October 4, 2010, postcards will be the only acceptable form of incoming mail for inmates in custody at all Ventura County Sheriff 's Office jail facilities. Postcards must be no smaller than 4 x 6 inches and no larger than 6 x 11 inches (US Post Office standards).
2.Incoming postcards must be delivered via US Postal Service, a commercially licensed carrier (i.e., FedEx, UPS, etc.) or collected from a jail public lobby drop box to be accepted. Incoming postcards must be properly addressed with the inmate’s name and booking number, and mailed to: PO Box 6929, Ventura, CA 93006. All incoming correspondence, including postcards, must have a legible, return address to be processed within the jail facilities. Booking numbers may be obtained by clicking here, or calling 805 654 3335.
3.Any of the following will cause incoming mail to be returned to the sender or placed directly into an inmate’s property:
•Postcards that have been altered from their original form, including added layering, backing, or wrappings.
•Postcards marked with paint, crayon, glitter, labels, cloth, string, watermarks, stains or stickers (excluding US postage stamps).
•Postcards with any perceived bio-hazard (i.e. lipstick, gloss, scents, etc.)
•Postcards depicting nudity, obscenities, suggestive images, or other offensive materials.
•Postcards depicting weapons, gang references, criminal activity, codes, or markings.
•Postcards depicting or containing writings, images or references that may incite violence, riot, racism, or threaten the security of any Ventura County jail facility.
•Not mentioned in the official rules: they cut the stamps off the corners of the postcards before giving them to the inmate.
Rules for Sending Books
Inmates may only receive softbound books sent directly from the publisher, Amazon.com, or Barnes and Noble.com. There is a limit of three (3) books that may be sent at one time. Bibles are included in this restriction. If an inmate would like a religious book (Bible, Koran, etc.), a request may be submitted to the Chaplain and one will be provided to the inmate. No hard, leather, spiral bound or plastic covered books will be accepted. Books sent from a publisher must have a proof of purchase. Books sent to an inmate must include a letter or receipt on the organization’s letterhead stating the book was donated. If any portion of the book order is unacceptable, the entire order will be returned to sender.