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Author Topic: Dumb Question: Staples…Paper Clips?  (Read 44340 times)

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Offline sadboysmom

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #40 on: December 29, 2009, 08:22:30 PM »
becca ... They get a pencil in R&C but they have to conserve it because there is no way to sharpen it . He will get a Bible and the Chaplin comes around every two weeks with magazines and books. I would not send anything except maybe a letter, but be warned the mail is slow most of the time. When he gets to his parent prison be ready to send money. You can bring books with you too when you visit, I think only three at a time. Check with the facility before you go. They can buy a walkman from commissary and the cassettes can only be ordered through the prison. You can not send them any because they can't have any screws in them. I know it could be awhile but there is nothing you can do. I know in Jacksonville it cost about 40.00 for a walkman and tapes can be around 4.00 to 50.00. My suggestion is buy the TV because they have digital radio stations he can listen to.  Start up is around 400.00 to 500.00 , that is what we spent when my son first went in.  He needed shoes and his own underwear, socks, TV and the headphones to listen to it because it doesn't come with speakers. It depends on what he thinks he'll need. Oh yeah and they have to pay for the cable too. My son tells me that the guys who had TVs stayed out of trouble so you might really want to make sure he has one. I know this sounds like alot but we didn't do it all at once but sent the money in every week to buy something.  Hope this helps.

Offline becca

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #41 on: December 29, 2009, 08:57:47 PM »
They have to buy their own clothes??  Isn't that ridiculous when he has his clothes here?? my goodness.  How do they keep the clothes separated?  I have heard they have to do their own wash?? So it is not like on tv  where a crew is in the laundry room all day washing and drying clothes??
oh my goodness.  $500.  I sure hope he can wait so we can send like every couple weeks.  We are not rich by any means.  Plus my hubby is retired.  I will be telling all of our friends and relatives to start sending me money  haha.  I am sure he will understand.  I most definitely had the price of a tv right off the bat.  How much does cable cost per month??  Well he may have to go shoeless for a couple months  (joke).  My son got very hooked on tv shows when he was on curfew.  I am sure he is missing some. I watch some but I dont think I should tell him in case he can see them later haha.

Offline WAID

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #42 on: December 29, 2009, 09:48:19 PM »
They are issued some clothes, underwear, gym shoes or boots & a coat among some minimal hygene items. If they can afford to do so, they might buy EXTRA sweatpants, socks or t-shirts, hygene & food items through commisary.

They are trying to convert to a smaller tv like a portable DVD player you use in a car for around $225. in some prisons. The cable referred to is the actual wire cable to plug into a wall outlet & the headphones for them to listen to it is sold seperately. Basic cable service is provided, not charged monthly. Where he is sent as his home prison will determine if a tv is even needed so wait on that. For example, a dorm style prison like Vandalia, personal tv's are not allowed & there is only a community tv in the room.

It's not entirely pleasant but they can & many do survive on just what they are provided, the state pay & getting a job if able to. Please keep that in mind & set a budget for yourself. Postage, magazines, books, money order fees, visits & an allowance adds up really really fast for all of us on the outside. It does help them to know what to expect & how much they can order to pace themselves or stock up for lockdowns if you send it steady, instead of 20 here & 50 a couple months from now.

Hope that helped clear it up some.
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Offline codyandbecca

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #43 on: December 30, 2009, 06:48:17 AM »
When they go in they are issued a set of "blues" which includes a shirt, pair of pants, coat and a pair of black boots. They are also issued one tshirt, one pair of boxers and one pair of socks. They can buy tshirts, underwear, socks , shoes and all that stuff on commisary. They do their own laundry or at least at the prison my husband is at. He will also have to buy his laundry soap and all of his hygiene products as well. They do not charge for cable but they do have a channel that plays nothing but new movies and they are charged for that but they take it out of their state pay every month and it is like $1.40/month. If you have any other questions we will try and answer them for you.

Offline becca

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #44 on: December 30, 2009, 06:54:07 AM »
I forget---where is your l/o codyand becca?    Ok  1.40 a month for cable is not bad at all  haha I was thinking like my bill is  80 a month.     Yes I told my son i would send quite a bit at first but after that like 50-100 a month.  Is that good---too much or too less??    Thanks Waid---you both answered some questions.  mine is at statesville right now  but i think he will be transferred to Danville.

Offline codyandbecca

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #45 on: December 30, 2009, 09:47:19 AM »
My husband is in Big Muddy River Correctional Center. You should send however much you can afford and whatever you do.. do not over extend yourself. I have done that in the past and will no longer do such a thing. If you can afford $50-100 a month then that will be fine.

Offline WAID

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #46 on: December 30, 2009, 12:53:55 PM »
My guy doesn't have a job & I could only send $25.00 a month. Few & far between his family would send him 25 or 50 & he LEARNED to ration himself.
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Offline FirstLadyEsh

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #47 on: March 11, 2012, 11:25:43 AM »
Is there a size restriction on envelopes?

Offline destinswife

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #48 on: March 11, 2012, 11:42:16 AM »
Is there a size restriction on envelopes?

Not that I am aware of I use the long envelopes and have used large manilla envelopes as well. And I use the priority letter size envelopes from the post office as well.

Offline FirstLadyEsh

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #49 on: March 11, 2012, 11:48:37 AM »
I have this 12 by 15 heavy duty envelope that I want to send books & magazines in.

Offline destinswife

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #50 on: March 11, 2012, 11:51:53 AM »
I have this 12 by 15 heavy duty envelope that I want to send books & magazines in.

It should be fine just don't put tape on it does need tape have the post office do it for you. It is always safer to use the post offices packaging the packaging is free depending on what you want to use.

Offline Forevermah

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #51 on: March 11, 2012, 04:41:40 PM »
I have this 12 by 15 heavy duty envelope that I want to send books & magazines in.

No bubble wrapped envelopes to send books in either, just regular manilla envelopes.
Do not value the "things" you have in your life - value "who" you have in your life....



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Offline TimeStandsStill

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #52 on: March 11, 2012, 05:30:53 PM »
I have this 12 by 15 heavy duty envelope that I want to send books & magazines in.

No bubble wrapped envelopes to send books in either, just regular manilla envelopes.


According to the information on the updated IDOC website, envelopes padded with clear bubble wrap are now acceptable:



What items can I mail to an inmate?

Inmates are provided food, clothing and healthcare. To ensure safety and security in the prison system, inmates are able to purchase approved items in the commissary.

Inmates can receive correspondence, legal mail and publications, which are reviewed to determine whether they are obscene or constitute a danger to safety and security. The institutional Publication Review Committee reviews all publications that are not on the approved list, and will disapprove materials that do not meet criteria.  Inmates can receive publications, including books, periodicals, magazines, newspapers and catalogs in accordance with department regulations.  Inmates can receive these directly from a vendor or a total of 5 items in any combination as long as the combination does not exceed 5 through the mail.

Guidelines need to be followed for envelopes and packages.

Envelopes that are padded with clear bubble wrap will be accepted.  Envelopes that have this type of padding can be easily scanned.
•Envelopes padded with gray diamond dust and corrugated cardboard boxes mailed from family and friends will not be accepted and will be returned to the sender without being opened.  

Offline Forevermah

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #53 on: March 11, 2012, 05:33:39 PM »
I would still call each facility and ask.  We have been round and round about this since IPT was started. I don't trust what they say.  If indeed they have changed their polices it would be wonderful, but I would urge everyone to call their mailrooms and ask before sending anything in  bubble wrapped envelopes!
Do not value the "things" you have in your life - value "who" you have in your life....



“Instead of thinking about what you're missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.”

Offline destinswife

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #54 on: March 11, 2012, 05:55:02 PM »
The first few books I sent to my husband I did use bubble padded envelopes but I used the ones from the post office. I then switched to the free priority envelopes because the lady said it would be cheaper. He received those books each time. I bought some manilla bubble envelopes but have not used them because of reading on here that they are not acceptable. I am just sticking to the post office packaging for his books just to be on the safe side.

Offline veracity

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #55 on: March 12, 2012, 01:06:49 AM »
I bought white Tyvek envelopes on Ebay. Tyvek is the same material the priority envelopes are made of. They are strong and never need additional tape.

If you are sending just books, the cheapest rate is media mail. Just tell the clerk at the post office you want to send it media mail.
Media mail does not include magazines or catalogs.

I have never paid more than $5 to mail books and always send 5 at a time. I have mailed at least 20 pkgs of books. My own crusade to update the prison library.

Priority mail is expensive and it does not get your books there any faster. I've sent books and sometimes he gets them in a few days and other times they take 2 weeks before they give them to him. I  also don't waste money on delivery confirmation. Haven't had any problems cept the one time I sent a writers textbook on police procedures and how to write believable crime stories. They returned that one. Go figure.

Offline Dazzler

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #56 on: March 12, 2012, 08:34:38 AM »
That's because they have a policy not to accept those type of books.  They also don't allow true crime stories involving anyone that is currently within the IDOC system.  The reason the times vary is because every book must go through the book reviewer at each prison.  He must approve every book, magazine, etc for contraband content.  They won't accept hunting magazines, anything with guns involved, survival, etc.  They don't allow magazines, etc. that contain alcohol related ads or articles either...especially no drugs...

If the book reviewer is on vacation you'll wait even longer...and if he likes one and wants to read it himself, you'll wait even longer.

As far as size limitation...YES they do have a size limit although I'm not sure what it is.  They don't accept those very large greeting cards.  So I suggest everyone call and ask the mailroom at their individual prisons.  You can't take anyone's opinion about this here, as each prison makes their own rules about mail.  What might be acceptable at one prison is not acceptable at another.  And when you're dealing with all levels of security there are exceptions.  Bubble wrap can be used to hide contraband...I've repeated this many times here, think about the security angle when you question why something is done by IDOC....
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Offline destinswife

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #57 on: March 12, 2012, 09:01:32 AM »
If the book reviewer is on vacation you'll wait even longer...and if he likes one and wants to read it himself, you'll wait even longer.

 :wc15: I got a kick out of reading this you gave me my laugh for the day. I wondered if they did that lol. I sent my husband Chicken Soup for the Prisoners Soul and he hadnt received it as quickly as the other ones so I though well hummm maye someone else wanted to read it first lol. But he did eventually get it.

And as for the priority mailing mine has always gotten there the day after I mail it to him and sometimes he has gotten them the same day other times he hasn't. I always have put a mail confirmation on them just to be safe.

Offline Dazzler

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #58 on: March 12, 2012, 09:06:10 AM »
Well, I was told by the book reviewer at Stateville that my books were tied up because he had stacks of them on his desk, but he added that he enjoyed the books I sent and loved true crime stuff....and said he was gonna read one I mailed first, since I sent about six at a time.... 
~ "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." ~ US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

~ "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Offline 2407may

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Re: Dumb question: staples...paper clips?
« Reply #59 on: September 25, 2012, 01:58:51 PM »
is it legal to rise prices every week for commisary?