View Full Version : Son going to prison for the first time - questions on a little of everything ;)


SophieJo
12-09-2005, 02:35 PM
This will all be new to me soon since my son is still waiting to be assessed. Right now he's in county jail and I'm allowed to send him a package once a week with his reading material, stationary and pictures. But when he goes to a prison, can we still send packages to them? I realize books and mags have to come from the vendor, right? So what kind of packages are we allowed to send?

I also have a question about TVs. Do all prisons allow inmates to have a TV and how do they get one? I just want to make sure he has all that he needs.

Is there a limit to how many magazines I can subscribe for him? And is there a list of mags that are allowed and aren't allowed?

freckledgrl
12-09-2005, 02:48 PM
Sophie, a lot of this is going to depend on where he's sent but here's some general rules that apply at most of the prisons I've known here...

No packages at all. He will have to buy his stamps, papers, pens, etc, from the prison commissary. So when he gets shipped, the first thing most of us do is send money so they can get the necessities. When you know he's shipped, you can call the prison and ask how to address the money and where to send it.

I believe he'll have to be a Level 4 (maybe level 3?) before he can buy a tv. They have to be purchased through commissary too because they are special clear see-through box tvs for safety reasons. The price depends on where he's at, but I would guess they are between $200-$300 at most prisons. Once he buys one, it usually ships with him if he gets transferred but if he gets in trouble and drops levels, then he could have to send it home. If that happens, they generally don't let you send it back in so he'd have to buy another one :(

I don't think the prisons usually have a specific list of good or bad magazines. Ones to avoid are tattoo mags or gun/knife mags to be on the safe side. The naughty mags get a bit more confusing but once he's placed you can call to find out the exacts for that prison. One other thing to keep in mind is that the DOC has the policy of not forwarding magazine subscriptions if an inmate ships. So it's up to you to get the address change filled with the mag company if he ships.

Hope that helps some :)

Edited cause I forgot stuff :D

I don't know a max number of mags allowed, but they are only allowed to have a 1 cubic foot of property at one time. Everything has to fit in a box like area.

Taylor, I forgot your original post so here goes....Don't know of any other than making them yourself or with the American Greeting site talked about above. Good luck with it!

SophieJo
12-09-2005, 03:47 PM
Can you explain the different levels to me? I looked it up at the DOC website but I can't tell what level he'd be at when he enters.

freckledgrl
12-13-2005, 02:56 PM
Can you explain the different levels to me? I looked it up at the DOC website but I can't tell what level he'd be at when he enters.

Let's see if I can break it down without writing a novel this time :p

There are 4 levels: Level 1-4

They start at a Level 2 usually and then every few months work their way up the levels until reaching Level 4. Each level brings them more "goodies" (more visiting hours, more good time credits, allowed to spend more money at commissary or buy better things, better jobs if available, etc...). To work through the levels, they have to stay out of trouble, go to their programs or school or work, keep their houses (cells) & themselves clean, stuff like that.

Level 1 is used for misconducts or write-ups. Usually if someone gets busted down to a Level 1, they lose all their electronics, visits are 1 hour behind glass, they can't use the phone, don't get their good time credits, etc. Once their Level 1 time is over then they can start working through the levels again to get back to a Level 4.

The DOC page is really confusing at first, but once you get the basics down you can usually figure the rest out. Hope this helps some :thumbsup:

SophieJo
12-14-2005, 07:41 PM
Thanks for the explanation. But since he has to do 85%, can he still earn credits to advance to different levels? I realize he can't gain credits for good behavior until the 85% is finished, but can he still advance to higher levels?

And when you talk about a square cubic foot, does this mean at all facilities? I thought it was only at Lexington. A square foot is a pretty good size where he could get about five mags a month and a few books, then loan them out to others. They can loan out their reading material, can't they?

freckledgrl
12-15-2005, 03:02 PM
My ex is in on 85% so I've got this one down...lol. He will still work through the levels no matter what. The only difference is that he won't get the added benefit of good time credits that each level brings.

I don't know if the square cubic foot thing is at every facility, but so far it's been the rule at the few I've known. Some are more strict on it than others though but you're right, it's a pretty good size. The problem is when they want to keep everything from court papers to old magazines to every letter we send them...lol. Then it can fill up pretty fast. But if it's something they really don't want to give up forever, they can always box it up and release it to you from their property list.

I don't know if there's a rule against it officially, but everywhere I've been they all share their reading material. I do know they aren't allowed to trade because that's considered bartering. That rule is there to stop people from extortion and getting into debt which can lead to fights. But it's one of those things that goes on all the time (especially with the naughty magazines...lol).