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Birthday card allowed?

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Chiaretta
Chiaretta's picture
Birthday card allowed?

Hi everyone! :) I've seen an inmate profile and I'd like to write (first time writing to this person and to this prison). I know there's something allowed and something not. I did read in a few days it's his birthday and I was wondering if, along with a letter (white paper, blue/black ink) I could send a birthday card. I can't find anything on the prison's site so I'm not sure. And the main question (I guess): if I send a letter and birthday card, and the card is not allowed.. will he have the letter at least or everything will be thrown away? (The prison is Mule Creek State Prison, CA... just in case someone knows more about it).

 

 

 

VioletGrey
VioletGrey's picture

The only thing I can find that stipulates anything is this: "Inmates are not allowed to receive mail in boxes, padded envelopes, plastic bags, multi-layer packaging, envelopes that include metal parts, any package containing bubble wrap or packing peanuts, or card stock type envelopes."

If I were you, I'd write the letter and card and send them separately if it's the first time writing to the prison/pen pal so if the card isn't allowed then at least the letter will get to them hopefully. 

ST4s
ST4s's picture

To be on the safe side, I’d choose a card that doesn’t have glued-together parts (e.g. things folded over and doubled-up), or glitter, or dimensional doodads. Some places will let these ‘basic’ cards through. Other places will make copies, deliver the copies, and destroy the originals. The issue is card stock (or any type of paper, really) can be soaked in chemicals, sliced into ribbons, and smoked for effect, or the folded-over-and-glued parts can conceal other contraband.

Awesome that you’re thinking of someone in prison on their birthday! Just go for it! If they’re like some of my buds, it may be the only birthday card they get – a treasure!

Chiaretta
Chiaretta's picture

VioletGrey... I haven't even though about sending it separately! And it was just soooooo simple (well, now that you've mentioned it!) Thank you.
At least, I'm sure (well, I hope) he gets the letter.. and if he will get also the card, even better! :) 

ST4s.... I suppose I need to start thinking about these things, huh? "The issue is... any type of paper" ....something I would have never worried about! Wow!
I'll try and pick up the most simple card I can find and send it, hoping he can receive it (or even a copy of it!). Thanks!

And to both of you.... THANK YOU!!! I can have many doubts (also on very simple and stupid things!) being a "beginner on this pen pal thing", but you've really helped me a lot, for every questions and doubts!

ST4s
ST4s's picture

Chiaretta, we were all beginners at one point. Having doubts is absolutely normal! I've been there myself.

Yeah, the soaked-paper-contraband thing is a big problem for many places. Typically, their solution is to scan or copy the originals and destroy them - with jurisdictions like Pennsylvania having all incoming mail directed to a service bureau in Florida. Crazy, right? But it keeps everyone safe.

ST4s
ST4s's picture

Well, DAYUM!!! Let me add a postscript here:

That mail rules can also change with the wind. I just got a refused/return to sender birthday card I sent out in late January, to a bud who got our Christmas card just fine. GRRRRRR!!!!!

Chiaretta
Chiaretta's picture

Ahhhh nooooo!!! Oh well, thanks to Violet's suggestion I already sent a letter and will send separately the birthday card on Monday maybe.

I'm so sorry your bud didn't get it, though! :(

You had in the mail a returned card you sent on late January! And.. I still haven't received a reply to letters I sent mid-January... I'm learning to be patient (and it's not going so well!! Lol!)

 

 

Chiaretta
Chiaretta's picture

One more question about the birthday card ;)
Name and # of the inmate: on the outside of the card, or on the inside where I wite my message and wishes? Or is it fine both way? 

Thanks

ST4s
ST4s's picture

Well, back when my cards used to make it through the mail room (oh so very two months ago, HA!!!) I’d address the envelope the usual way with my friend’s name and register number. Then, inside the card, I’d just use his first name, no number, like a normal greeting to a friend. On the back at the bottom, I jotted down all the prison-y things, just in case. Never had a problem with that approach ‘til they changed the rules on cards altogether. Your mileage may vary. Best of luck!

Chiaretta
Chiaretta's picture

Perfect, thank you! It sounded just "not nice" writing the # together with the birthday wishes inside the card. I'll copy your method then!
And fingers crossed.. he will get it! :)