Supporting Your Local Inmate: What Kind Of Support Do We Need? How Can You Help?
Supporting inmates comes in various ways. However, it’s not just a Christmas card with no return address on it. No way for us to write you back. The kind of support that we need from the outside world is normalcy. We need people that are able to stand on their own two feet and provide emotional stability while we figure out how to stabilize ourselves. We need a pillar.
Sometimes that pillar takes on many types of support. For instance, shoes. We need shoes, there is no way to get around it. If we work out and go to work here, it’s almost impossible for us to buy them on our own but we need them. DOC will only provide us shoes every 12 months or so and if they are bein ran in, worked in and worn everywhere else then they wear out rather quickly causing all kinds of medical problems. So that is one way. But don’t let a prisoner fool you, guys in here are crafty.
What I mean is this, sometimes a guy will get as many people as he/she can to buy them stuff, then before you know it they have multiple food packages and material packages and all kinds of money on the books because they are hustling all kinds of people. So do this to protect yourself, don’t buy things for an inmate for the first 6 months. Make us get to know you, unless you just like to spend money frivolously, in which case…write me, I could use a few things.
Guys here will compare notes and counsel each other on how to get the most out of their contacts. I hear it all the time about how a guys is having all kinds of girl trouble, then I find out that the trouble is actually the girl had to choose between paying her rent and buying him a food package and he is demanding that she buy him a food package…Some trouble. Guys will go to great lengths to get monetary things from people, including pretend to be gay and write dirty letters and call on the phone and talk like they are gay. When in fact they get visits every weekend from their wives and they have no idea that their husband is pretending to be gay throughout the week for jpay money.
Regardless of the bad things, there are plenty of men who need real support. Books and Bibles and art supplies. It’s nice to be able to buy a song that we heard recently or listen to a song that has nostalgia for us. Its even nicer to really connect with someone. Someone who is normal and can help recenter us in life. We don’t need you to rescue us, what we do need is you to listen to us while we figure things out. We at least need the opportunity to sound manic for a few months and then we need you to tap the back of our heads and tell us to knock it off. It’s nice to really connect with someone finally.
That is the kind of support we need. All kinds. We need volunteers to come in and help revive our programs and our dying education. We need religious direction and emotional support.
That’s all for now, thanks for listening, I am always here to answer questions!
Jeff Utnage 823469