#207 Top 3 prison blogs, chap 2

May 26, 2010 at 3:23 pm 3 comments

Top 3 Prison Issues, chap.2

It is 10:37 am as I start this blog, and it has been a couple of days since I have blogged. I have been working on getting some orders for my books, and doing some small stuff. But I have done a lot of emailing the last couple of days, with people who have asked me about my works, and questions about prison issues in general.

Some of you that asked about my free prison encouragement certificates have likely received them by now, and a few have emailed me to let me know that they did. I appreciate that, glad to know that it got there in one piece, and also that they can be useful. Trust me, I have many more where those come from.

Today I wanted to talk on some of the issues I see people searching for, because it gives me a pretty good idea of what I should try to concentrate on. I try to take my cue from what people are reading on my blogs, and the emails I get. For example, one person emailed me about a concern at Dan River Prison Work Farm, in Yanceyville, North Carolina. I am pretty familiar with that place, because it was the last prison I was in before my release in 2001.

I am pretty confident that had my incarceration been longer, I would have been kicked out of there too, but because it was so close to the end, they asked me if I wanted to be shipped to a camp closer to home. Although that was more convenient, I was not really interested in that. To me, that does not make too much sense because the adjustment it takes at a new camp with the anxiety of being released can put double the pressure on an inmate. Its hard enough to just fit in on any camp, and once you get settled, you can find some sense of normalcy. So moving an inmate a week or two before his release to me just does not make sense.

Yet I had kinda been a “problem child” of the camp, which was why I was moved from Pasquotank, Tyrrell, Sanford and Robeson. I think they would have been more than accommodating should I had said yes. But I stayed on the camp until my release, wondering if they were really glad to see me go.

But that is another blog, today I want to touch on the top 3 most read blogs as of last week. I’ll count them down and talk a little about it, because each of these is a clear indication of what readers are looking for, and what concerns them.

#3 Post #33; Security Levels in Prison

A lot of people get confused with what prison is really about. They are so used to what television and society gives them, that they think that every prison is straight out of some television show about how horrible prison is. Now, let me not dilute this by trying to imply to you that NO prison is dangerous, every prison has that potential. But many people don’t realize that there are several different security levels that an inmate could be placed in.

The exact terminology will differ from state to state, but the highest security could start at what is called “Supermax” then “Maximum Security” then “Close Custody”, “Medium Custody” and “Minimum Custody”. Again, this can be argued as far as the actual terminology from one state to another, but I think most will agree that these are the basic security levels. Not every state has each of these security levels. For example, my state of NC does not have a Supermax prison, and right off the top of my head, I think there might be only one Maximum security prison, maybe two. But each security level allows for a different set of rules for the inmate; the lower the security level, the more that inmate has the freedom to do.

It seems that a lot of people may be concerned about what to expect with a loved one in prison. I tried to talk about some of the differences in that blog, I hope it helped.

#2 Post #206 Sending Inmates Money: The DARK Side

WOW, I just put that up a few days ago!

Apparently this really IS a major concern for a lot of readers, I wrote that blog about 3 days ago. This blog talks about the “dark” side about sending money to inmates. I try my best to speak for inmates when I can, but there are times where I cannot defend what some inmates do. This is one of those times.

What do you do when you have sent money, or have been sending money to a person, and now wonder if he is taking advantage of you? This is a much bigger story than people seem to think it is. Now, there are multiple sides to this story, the general argument to this might just be to blame the inmate entirely, but I say to you, there are different angles here.

Now, this situation does not apply to every person who sends inmates money, not at all. And it does not apply if you freely choose to send them money WITHOUT them asking. The blog is about inmates who are clearly communicating with you to send them money; whether by using guilt, sad excuses or anything that manipulates you to feel that you should send them money.

This is a pretty big issue, one I might have been able to write more on, and after I wrote that blog, I got a few emails from people with questions about their issues. Its funny because after I finished, there were other thoughts that came in my head that I could have talked about. It would seem that maybe we can talk further in this subject, because clearly a it is on a lot of folk’s minds.

#1 Post #32 Should You Send Inmates Money.

This by far has been the most searched issue on my blogs. But there is a difference between this one and the one we just talked about. Whereas the previous blog was about the negatives of sending inmates money, this one is the more neutral, maybe even more affirmative on the issue.

A lot of people that don’t know much about prison issues simply believes that inmates don’t deserve anything, which includes sending them money. While there are indeed issues on that, I believe that every single inmate is as different as you are, and thus the situations are always different. The way a 20 year old male in Texas doing 5 years does his time is different from a 40 year old female doing life in Florida. Heck, if you identified a 20 year old inmate in South Carolina, New York, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, California and Oregon, all doing time for a similar charge, each of their incarcerations will be very different from the other.

In short, no two inmates have ever done their time exactly the same way.

So don’t judge them all the same way. This includes whether to send them money or not. This is a very touchy subject, because on one side, I understand how important a few dollars can make during an incarceration. Having money while in prison really takes a strong edge off how you do your time, and if you have a loved one in prison, you want to do what you can to help him do his time as best he or she can. But at the same time, it is very easy, and tempting to want to receive money all the time while in prison. Most times it is because the inmate gets greedy, but sometimes….SOMETIMES, it is a very innocent flaw in the person. Let me give you a quick example:

When I was in medium custody at Pasquotank (last I heard they moved out all the medium custody from the camp and made it a close custody camp), I knew a guy doing life. He was a big dude, one of those stereotypical images of an inmate, who lifted weights all the time. But he was pretty nice…well, at least to me.

I asked him once if he needed any canteen, and he said yes. I mean, I had it to give, and he seemed nice enough, so I offered, and he accepted. I think we did that a couple of times, but he didn’t ask ME for canteen, I was offering to him. After awhile he had gotten used to me asking, and one day he came to me and asked if I could get him some canteen. At the time I had kinda run low on money, but he had now gotten to the point where he felt comfortable asking me for canteen. Was it his fault? Not really. My actions gave him every reason to believe that he could ask, and I would give. It wasn’t like he really NEEDED anything, but he had gotten to the point where he felt he could ask.

Sometimes the giver can be so kind to the receiver that it might innocently trigger such a circumstance. I know that sounds too flimsy, but trust me folks there is some reasoning in this. This does not apply to everybody, but it does indeed apply to some.

Anyway, that is an angle that implies that not all situations involving sending money to inmates is so one sided. It is very clear that this is a subject we have to talk more on, since the top two issues involve sending inmates money.

But that is for another time, today I will take some time to relax, print out some cards, answer emails and maybe blog some more later today. Remember, email me to ask how you can support my blogs, ask about my books, cards or prison issues. Don’t be afraid to ask a question, because often times the question you ask is likely one that many others have as well, but were afraid to ask.

Until then…


Entry filed under: girlfriends with boyfriends in prison, God and prison, inmates, jail, LostVault, mothers with sons in prison, prison, prison abuse, prison blogs, prison books, prison cards, prison food, prison jobs, prison mail, prison pen pals, prison support sites, Prison Talk Online, Prisonbid, rehabilitation, son in prison.

#206 Sending inmates money: the DARK side #208 Do prisons lie?

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. renee111  |  May 30, 2010 at 7:26 am

    How do I ask you for advise on my fiance who is in prison ?

  • 2. nolaw97  |  May 30, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Hi there, renee111, if you want, you can email me if you want me to discuss your issue, not sure if you want to air anything for all to see, so I will do my best to try to help you. Mind you, I don’t claim to know it all, but I will do the best I can. My should be on the blog, but if you can’t find it, let me know, I will be glad to share it with you.

  • 3. renee111  |  May 30, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Yes I do need your email address I’m sorry I couldn’t locate it. Thank you


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