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What to send my friend in prison

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Chasingcars | 22:05 Fri 10th Jun 2011 | Law
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A long distance friend i used to work with was sentenced last week for 4 years in prison.
I would like to stay in touch with him, can anyone advise apart from the obvious letters, what else could i send? Whats allowed? If anyone here has been in prison what would make a difference to your day? Can i send magazine articles or funny cards, photos etc?
Any suggestions welcome, thankyou


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Yes, as long as they're just that. If they're in glass frames they won't get to him. (Possible use as a weapon). If they're in an album they might also be stopped. (Possible hiding of drugs behind the photos).

Yes. Anything which can be purchased in a newsagent's shop is normally acceptable.

Prisoners are allowed to buy their own 'luxuries' (such as sweets, biscuits, etc) from the weekly 'canteen'. (It's not a place; it's just a list of things which are available). They can spend money from their 'earnings' (either from actual work or from attending education classes) but that's only a few pounds per week. Most prisons allow inmates to spend further money (either unlimited, or with a weekly maximum) from what they've got in their personal account. (i.e. what was in their pocket when they arrived or what has been sent in to top up that account). If you want to send money, you should send a cheque or postal order, made payable to 'HM Prison Service', to the Governor of the prison, together with details of the prisoner to whose account it is intended for. (Obviously, you should send a separate letter to the prisoner, letting him know that his account has been 'topped up').

Most other items aren't permitted to be sent in. However most prisons will let you send stamps, pens and writing paper. (They might seem to be very basic items but it's likely that a prisoner would welcome them if it prevented him from having to pay for them from his own account).

My bro was in prison for 6 months (many moons ago) he said Letters were the best thing every week. Write about anything, every day stuff, where you went, about what the kids have done, your visit to the dentist etc. anything is interesting when you're away from it.

Money and letters
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Thanks all for your suggestions, thats really helpful. My only concearn was about rattling on in a letter about what i have been doing - nights out, holidays etc- seems a little inappropriate for someone in prison maybe? I'll stock up on stamps and writing bits, its funny what I take for granted all of a sudden.
A file in a cake
you could also get him a writing set perhaps...something a bit fancier than a biro and a jotter...

alos i seem to remember phone cards were always mentioned...not sure it they still use them though...

perhaps a few plants ...stuff he can grow himself on a window box
plants!!!! Cannabis?
Further to Joko's post:
The phone cards which used to be used in prisons were special ones, which could only be purchased 'inside'. The phonecards you could buy at newsagents wouldn't work on prison phones. I understand that a 'PIN' system has now replaced the cards anyway (with the costs of calls being deducted from prisoners' personal accounts).
Mobile phones, cannabis, and girls all seem to be able to get themselves in these days.
I think they'll have cottoned on to the cake/file ruse so Puzzle books or if he has a hobby anything to do with that.
Albags I think I read on here somewhere about the way mobile phones are smuggled into prison. I don't think I would like to put one to my face after getting a smuggled one.
my ex was inside..had one of those 3d puzzles to pass time and loved it xx
4 years is a long time these days. He must have been a naughty boy.

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