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  #1  
Old 12-21-2017, 08:21 AM
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Default The Big Business of Prisoner Care Packages

The Big Business of Prisoner Care Packages

"To stop drugs and weapons from entering jails and prisons, many corrections agencies bar family members from mailing packages or bringing them during visits. Those who want to send food, clothing and other gifts to incarcerated relatives — at any time of year — often must go through private vendors.

Here’s how it works: Families shop from print and online catalogs supplied by care package companies. Every item is PRISON- AND JAIL-APPROVED. In some facilities, that can mean no glass or metal containers or no personal hygiene products containing alcohol. Items are often contraband-proof, from sealed food pouches to clear electronics to pocketless sweatpants."

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2...-care-packages
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Old 12-22-2017, 11:03 PM
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Keep an eye on sales taxes.

I found that Aramark was charging sales taxes on food items sold through the commissary at the Las Vegas County Jail. After investigating, I don't think they were trying to be evil, they just plain got things wrong. Both the Nevada Department of Revenue and Aramark's compliance department were very cooperative, and I got the sales taxes removed and got refunds for the taxes I had paid. I assume they made refunds to other people who had bought packages.

I haven't had to tangle with this since, and it really would only apply to food products. But if you're sending a package and being charged sales tax on food items that aren't taxable in that state, you should try to get them removed. I don't know if the Las Vegas things was a one-off or a pervasive problem. I frankly was surprised that no one had thought of it before; I didn't think of it until I was walking out of Walmart one day and looked at my grocery receipt and noticed there were no sales taxes... and I thought "Hmm, so why do I pay sales taxes on food-only packages sent to jail?"
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Old 12-28-2017, 09:51 AM
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Default Big Business of Prisoner Care Packages, Marshall Project

The Big Business of Prisoner Care Packages

"The three major care package providers, Access Securepak, Aramark’s iCare, and Union Supply Direct, each have relied on incarcerated workers. Access Securepak has used inmates to unload trucks, stock and pick items from warehouses and assemble packages, according to a 2015 West Virginia contract proposal. In its 2014 bid, Union Supply Direct reported that it employed inmates to, among other things, clean freezers and manufacture clear electronics sold in its package program"

"“We deliver experiences that enrich and nourish millions of lives every day,” Karen Cutler, vice president of corporate communications for Aramark, wrote in an emailed response to questions. Correctional facilities determine the prices, nutritional guidelines and labor model used in their contracts with the company, she said"
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Old 12-28-2017, 11:32 AM
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"Correctional Facilities determine the prices." Yes they do and they keep screwing the loved ones through over priced care packages and over priced processed crap in the vending machines and phone calls. I've always said all we contribute ought to be tax deductible.
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Old 12-28-2017, 03:24 PM
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I have dealt with two inmate quarterly package companies. Based on my experience commissary "store" prices were normally higher and selection worse, but packages arrived weeks and sometimes months late. Sometimes major property items like shoes were canceled several times. I didn't have very many problems with food packages, but sometimes there were missing items in orders. This is just one of those things you roll with, and you learn to be grateful that you can do what you can do for your loved one. Very few people on the outside have any clue about the inmate economy. It's crazy the things you hear people say. I just listen now and let them talk.

As regards the idea that these packages are contraband-proof, that is sort of funny. I don't think anything is contraband-proof. My loved one's prison had a large warehouse operation were inmates packed up the quarterly orders for the rest of the facilities in the state. I guess the company only handled the website, orders, customer service and arranged the bulk shipments to the warehouse.
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Old 12-28-2017, 11:28 PM
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My husband had half of the pastries from his Union Supply Direct package come already moldy. No, we didn't receive compensation. We were told he would have to report it to the mail room, which would have to send a report. He reported it, the mail room didn't bother.
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:10 AM
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Do most families here send these packages to help with canteen supplies and cost, if affordable?
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choclgs View Post
Do most families here send these packages to help with canteen supplies and cost, if affordable?
I send two packages a year. Usually to restock him on hygiene and any clothing that may have worn out. It's expensive, but it's the only option we have if I want to send him anything. I have never put money on his books so if he purchases from the store it's out of his paycheck-- $11/month.

I've been lucky that nothing has gone wrong with our orders. Only once was it held up longer than four weeks and that was the facility, not the vendor. But I know a lot of people have had packages go missing, missing items, hassles with refunds.
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choclgs View Post
Do most families here send these packages to help with canteen supplies and cost, if affordable?
AZ is a bit different since you can't send anything but food and hygiene (maybe sunglasses) so you can't send clothing or electronics at all. But yes, we send to supplement commissary supplies and get the inmate items which aren't available to them.
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Old 01-08-2018, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fridyrr.Likn View Post
AZ is a bit different since you can't send anything but food and hygiene (maybe sunglasses) so you can't send clothing or electronics at all. But yes, we send to supplement commissary supplies and get the inmate items which aren't available to them.


I send a Securepak as often as the system allows. Hygiene items are sometimes on his list, but mostly it’s food. He’s kind of obsessive about fitness & nutrition, and he relies heavily on the commissary & Securepak orders to have what he considers a halfway decent & nutritious diet. He & his buddies get pretty creative with recipes that use the limited spices & canned foods available to them between the commissary & Securepaks.
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:52 AM
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There has to be some restrictions so that it doesn't jeopardize lives of other inmates.
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Old 02-22-2018, 12:33 PM
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There has to be some restrictions so that it doesn't jeopardize lives of other inmates.
The restrictions aren't the issue here.
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Old 03-14-2018, 05:19 PM
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That doesn't sound like a very good service. But I guess if there's no other alternative, what are you going to do?
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