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How much do pens, paper, stamps, envelopes, etc. cost in prison?

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Redbird
Redbird's picture
How much do pens, paper, stamps, envelopes, etc. cost in prison?

I assume that prisoners need money in order to pay for stamps, paper, envelopes, etc. at the prison commissary. How much does that usually cost them?   Does this mean that, if the prisoner has no job and no other source of income, that I would have to periodically send him/her a small amount of $$$ in order for them to be able to keep the correspondence going?

LotusBlossom
LotusBlossom's picture

Sometimes you can find commissary lists from prisons posted online if you do a google search and see the prices.  Some stuff is comparable, some stuff is cheaper, some stuff is a lot more.  

You don’t HAVE to send money, no.  Some prisoners get a certain allowance from the state (which is very tiny) for food, supplies, and letters.  But if you want a lot of letters then you CAN send in extra money for it.  Some people do and some people don’t, but no one is ever under any obligations.

 

 

Northernyank
Northernyank's picture

When my husband was in the State penitentiary, he received State pay of $9 per month. A book of stamps cost the same for us and them $11. Now, that my husband is back in the Feds, he receives ZERO dollars per month. I would purchase my husband in State, can't be done in the Feds a box of 25 envelopes from an approved vendor. He's only allowed 10 envelopes per week, 1 book of stamps, 1 legal pad of paper, and 1 2inch long pen. It wouldn't be an unreasonable request for a penpal to ask for help with writing supplies if they have no means of supporting themselves. 

tforrester
tforrester's picture

If we send writing supplies to an inmate, how can we be sure they receive it? 

Redbird
Redbird's picture

Northernyank, are prisoners allowed to buy stamps in quantities of less than one full book at a time? It just occurred to me that my pen-pals may still have money, but in insufficient quantities to buy a whole stamp book.

Northernyank
Northernyank's picture

@Redbird, stamps are used as currency so your pp could purchase half a book or whatever amount from another inmate. As far as I know, my husband always buys a book from commissary. I don't think they break the book up. They're only allowed to possess so many stamps though. 

Northernyank
Northernyank's picture

@tforrester you need to check first which approved vendor is allowed to ship to your pp's prison. If it's an approved vendor, you enter in your pp's name and #, this way you can tell from which area you can purchase items for them from. If they're on any type of restrictions, it will show. 

I've always gotten confirmation emails from the vendors, but also once your pp receives it, they can easily let you know. If there were any issues, then your pp can just ask their unit manager. 

LydiaSimpson
LydiaSimpson's picture

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