Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Holidays and Inmates

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Around this time of the year, I start to get kites (a medical form from the inmates to nursing staff with any type of health concern) dealing with increased depression.  This is mainly due to the end of the year holidays coming up.  Jail is really not a fun place to be during any holiday but the end of the year holidays seem to be extra tough for most.

The CO's tend to get multiple calls concerning extra visitation scheduling and questions regarding what family and friends can do for the inmate for the holidays.

So I've decided to write up some ideas for family and friends to give to their loved ones whom are incarcerated 😎

I'm basing these suggestions off of my facility, which is a County Jail.  Make sure before you purchase or send anything to your friend or loved one you check with the facility that they are being housed at to ensure it will be able to be given to the inmate!!  This is very important as every facility has slightly different rules and regulations regarding what the inmate can and can't have, as well as limits on how many!

Some of the biggest things that inmates love to receive are personal letters, photos of friends and family, and monies for commissary items 😉 above and beyond that, here are my top 5 suggestions to send to your friend or loved one when they are incarcerated.



Number 1: Books

Books are invaluable!!  They can help your loved one break up the monotony of life behind the bars, further their knowledge base and improve upon their well being - among other things.  In my facility books can be brought in by anyone or mailed directly to the jail - they have to be new and in paperback form only.  Any genre is accepted except for Porn, Children's books and activity books like mazes/Sudoku etc..  BUT there is a catch, once a book has been accepted into the jail, it becomes the property of the jail - meaning once the inmate for whom the book was sent for is done reading it or is released from incarceration that book must stay in the jail library.

Below is a couple recommendations from different genres :)
Please keep in mind if you purchase anything via these links I will get a small kickback at no cost to you.






Number 2: Puzzles

Puzzles will help pass the time.  They help to keep the mind moving and can be done by themselves or with others.  Like the books, in my facility, they have to be new and unopened and can be mailed or brought in by someone.  Also like the books, once a puzzle comes in the doors it must stay after the inmate is released.  It goes to the library and can be 'checked' out by others.

Here is a couple of my recommendations for jigsaw puzzles :)
Please keep in mind if you purchase anything via these links, I will get a small kickback at no cost to you.







Number 3: Whites

Whites are what we call underclothes :)  At our facility, inmates can only wear white underclothes and bras must be free of any clasps (meaning sport-bras only).  Whites can be mailed or brought in by person.  All the whites that come in can go home with the inmates when they are released but many of them donate their whites to the jail for those that are not fortunate enough to have whites brought in for them.

I've gathered some recommendations below for whites :)
Please keep in mind if you purchase anything via these links, I will get a small kickback at no cost to you.






Number 4: Toiletries 

Not all toiletries are allowed to be brought in for the inmates at my facility but things like Fixadent, Denture Holders, Denture Cleaners, Ouchless Hair Ties, Reading Glasses, Glasses Cleaner Kits, Contacts, Contact Solution, Contact Cleaner and Contact Holders can be.  All of these items must be new and unopened and can be mailed or dropped off.  Please be considerate though and only bring in or mail a few of these items at a time, as the inmates cannot have some of these items in their cells with them and must be held in the nursing office/clinic or med cart.  These items will go home with the inmates when they are released.

Below are some recommendations for toiletries :)
Please keep in mind if you purchase anything via these links, I will get a small kickback at no cost to you.






Number 5: Paper Products

White envelopes, stamps, writing paper, and drawing paper are always in high demand at the jail.  Inmates love to send letters as much as they like to receive them and learning or improving upon their drawing abilities is a big deal at my facility.  Again, please be mindful of how many paper products you are mailing or bringing in - the inmates can only have a certain amount in the cell with them and there is limited space to store personal items.  NO writing/drawing utensils are allowed though.  The facility provides the inmates with special writing/coloring utensils.

Here are some recommendations for paper products :)
Please keep in mind if you purchase anything via these links, I will get a small kickback at no cost to you.







Of course, you don't have to have a loved one on the 'inside' to donate items - the population that is found within the system is quite often financially unstable so donations of any kind are appreciated!  I hope you have found this list helpful 😊  Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or thoughts on the topic!!

6 comments:

  1. These are great ideas, I like the lights

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  2. Thanks for all the great ideas!

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  3. I imagine that emotionally navigating the holidays in prison can be tricky. The conditions of incarceration and regret are the contributing factors that attack one's emotions.

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  4. Neat ideas, that's sad, most people go through a lot through holidays.. can't imagine how it's like in prison too.

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