Thursday, July 15, 2010

A real convicts take on money in prison.

Hello everyone, sorry its been so long since my last post. Today I'm going to address having money in prison Wheather it is needed to survive. Thats tough. As I sit here drinking a cup of coffee, writing on a pad with a pen in a pair of shorts, with my fan 2 foot away. None of that is free. Do I have to have it NO. Do you have to internet, that you are using to read this blog? Do you have to have cable, phone, sodas, junk food, fast food, beer, cigarettes? My point it you don' t have to have it but how much would it suck no to have one thing that you don't need. A person in prison has to give up 90% of the things people on the outside take for grated, please trust me when I say there isn't one thing they sell on property or commissary that will make your loved one say."Yes prison rocks!" 
I am fortunate to have money sent to me every month, not one cent is wasted. No food I buy is thrown away and I'm not not spending it at the  club. The stuff I've mentioned so far is extra stuff, that make life a lot easier. I think there is a price list on the blog, take a look. Make yourself a list of what you would order? Don't forget to add in toothpaste, soap, shampoo, stamps, lotion, deodorant (everything but soap last 30 days, the soap only last 10). Keep in mind that if you run out of something you will have to go to a store box.And you'll be paying back double. Do people make it with no money yes. There is a guy in my pod that hasn't brushed his teeth in over 5 years. My cellie makes the money he gets last by taking one shower a week and not using deodorant. Some people that don't have money come up with outside hustles like selling drawings, watching other peoples clothes or flat out stealing. (there are drugs sex that make money as well). Some low life's will steal family members phone numbers and addresses and sell them. You'd be surprised.

On the flip side, there are guys that press their family for money for drugs, gambling  or to pay for protection. If a person is asking for money isn't wanting something specific off of property and it seem suspicious ask them. With  100 a month a person would be doing very good. Or if they budget well that can last 2 or more months. If a person is asking for 50 a week, then something is up. Lot of guys in here have forgotten how hard life is on the outside. I can't speak for everyone but I am blessed with people that appreciate that life isn't easy in here either. Keep in mind every little bit helps. A person can eat pretty good and have all the hygiene they need for a month for 50$. For the minimum of hygiene 10 will last  a month add in stamps and paper to about 15-20, then the rest on food. Starting with nothing from property the best way to go is to get one thing at a time. As of now I have everything that except a TV and I don't get a lot of money. 

If you send 10 a the person gets angry or jest keep pressing you for more or acts like your bills wants or needs aren't important then you need to ask yourself if he is selfish, and ungrateful on the inside the how will it be different when he gets out. My relationship with my family comes before everything. My mom sends me money every month and it makes a million times easier, but she is my mom and if she couldn't send anything a letter or card would brighten my day too. Love is expressed without dollar signs. If you feel like an inmates ATM then talk to them about it and see what response you get. If you feel like something is up or if you feel pressured take a step back and evaluate the relationship with the person on the inside. Don't be afraid to ask where the money is going, if the person is really in need and not doing anything shady, it should be no big deal to say hey I need soap, toilet paper, trying to save up for a fan, TV.

One thing I will say is if you are not going to send anything don't tell them its on the way. If a person thinks that it is he could go to a store box thinking his money is coming in a day or two. I've already talked about debt but here is an example. The guy gets a bag of coffee for 2.75 for interest he would have to pay back two bags so he owes 5.50 a week passe no money that another bag, so its now 8.25. Now before any money comes in he is already -8.25, if 10.00 comes in he can't even afford to buy his own bag after he pays what he owes. And you don't want debt in prison, you think debt collectors are bad out there?
Maybe you can see why running a store box is such a money racket and why its important to not think money is coming when it isn't .
Some tips:
If you send an inmate 10-20-30 tell them they need to make it last b/c you don't know how soon you can send any more. We have to budget in here to.
Ask for a price list from where they are, if they say they can't then something is up.

Ask where the money is going you have a right to know. Guilt trips are a form of emotional manipulation, its cruel and while guilt may get a reslut at first anger will be the ultimate result. DON"T GIVE THEM OR TAKE THEM. If sending money will cause resentment keep it. 

Hopefully I was able to answer some questions, my wife told me this is a hot button topic on a website she belongs to so maybe this will clear things up.

I also want to say thanks to my mom, I know its not always easy to budget me in there but you do. Also to my wife the angel of my life and my mamaw for doing what they  can. My wife is always beside me and shes holding it down at home, I love you.

And to all those others out there holding on strong for the ones inside. You are priceless

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome post J..Ironically i posted somthing similar about a week ago. Parents need to know that for a man or woman on the inside to be put in a position to borrow can mean paying back much more than the coffee soda or stamp!! I love you will be writing to you tonite Gin, whn you read this i have tried emailing you and it comes email me ok? i love you both very much and hey J remember....YOU ARE PRICELESS I love you