Sending money to someone in prison

bucky

Ostrich
Last night at the Eucharist, the priest read the passage from Matthew 25 that talks about visiting people in prison. Made me think of someone I know who is in prison. I've wanted to write him, but my parents have discouraged me, saying his family doesn't want to talk about it.

I'd left it at that for a long time and just been mentioning him in my prayers, but after church last night I tried to find him online and I did, including where he's incarcerated. There are currently no visitors allowed, I'm guessing because of COVID-19, so I'm just going to write him. I was also thinking of sending him some money for his commissary, but I don't know if that's always a good idea. I've never contacted anyone in prison before and I could imagine scenarios in which his having commissary money could actually make his life worse.

Does anyone have any insight on this or any experience that would be relevant? Thanks.
 

estraudi

Pelican
Gold Member
I would suggest offering support in any way you can. Especially if it's someone you knew and who knew you. Help means a lot more coming from a known person versus say a prison counselor or outreach group they don't have shared history with. Shared storyline? Maybe. but shared history weighs more.
The whole country lost it's collective mind having to be indoors all day can you imagine what your friend must be going through being in one cell most likely with a cellmate to boot?
Any money given to his commissary is like hitting a weekly lottery. Imagine how great he would feel if he could just buy himself a honeybun or something and forget about the circumstances he finds himself in.
If you find out his address and prison id number maybe send a redpill book or something with a masculine story like a Hemingway book.
I pray for your friend, Buck. God Bless
 

bucky

Ostrich
I appreciate the reply. I was going to send him some money when I first contact him, but then I thought maybe I'll just ask him if that would be OK in the first letter I send.

I'm thinking of doing it that way largely based on a conversation I had with a black guy from St. Louis I worked with down in my wife's country in Latin America. How it works in my wife's country is that relatives or friends have to bring you food if you're in prison or you'll literally starve. This coworker was married to a local girl and had found it necessary to warn some of her male relatives that he would literally murder them if they ever touched his daughter. This guy loved McDonald's, so I told him that if it ever came to that, I'd bring him McDonald's in prison. He said don't do that, it'll make me a target. I'm not exactly streetwise and this guy is from a very rough area and is a big, tough guy himself. He also has a lot of high school buddies who did a lot of time, so I assume he knows what he's talking about.

My friend is an older white guy, smaller in size, so he's going to be anything but the toughest guy in prison, which is why I was thinking that commissary money might make him a target too. I've heard crazy stories about the schemes inmates cook up. Even if I end up sending him money, I could see other inmates taking it or whatever he can buy with it. Even if I ask in a letter, due to the fact that the guards read the letters I could see one having an arrangement with the top dog inmates to extort commissary money from weaker inmates. Maybe they even keep demanding my friend write me for more more that they can then extort. I've heard of that kind of thing happening. I was interested to hear if anyone else has had any experience with this, maybe even someone who's done time himself.
 

Maecenas

Sparrow
I appreciate the reply. I was going to send him some money when I first contact him, but then I thought maybe I'll just ask him if that would be OK in the first letter I send.

I'm thinking of doing it that way largely based on a conversation I had with a black guy from St. Louis I worked with down in my wife's country in Latin America. How it works in my wife's country is that relatives or friends have to bring you food if you're in prison or you'll literally starve. This coworker was married to a local girl and had found it necessary to warn some of her male relatives that he would literally murder them if they ever touched his daughter. This guy loved McDonald's, so I told him that if it ever came to that, I'd bring him McDonald's in prison. He said don't do that, it'll make me a target. I'm not exactly streetwise and this guy is from a very rough area and is a big, tough guy himself. He also has a lot of high school buddies who did a lot of time, so I assume he knows what he's talking about.

My friend is an older white guy, smaller in size, so he's going to be anything but the toughest guy in prison, which is why I was thinking that commissary money might make him a target too. I've heard crazy stories about the schemes inmates cook up. Even if I end up sending him money, I could see other inmates taking it or whatever he can buy with it. Even if I ask in a letter, due to the fact that the guards read the letters I could see one having an arrangement with the top dog inmates to extort commissary money from weaker inmates. Maybe they even keep demanding my friend write me for more more that they can then extort. I've heard of that kind of thing happening. I was interested to hear if anyone else has had any experience with this, maybe even someone who's done time himself.

Interesting.... sounds like there’s a lot to watch out for and you’re giving this proper thought and consideration. Good luck
 
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