#49, I said in the future I wanted to talk about problems with our mail
visits, so I will talk about the mail this time. Mail is the only way
us have to maintain a relationship with our families, friends and loved
in prison " I am not talking about just prisoners on death row. Mail is
the main source of communication with the outside world for everyone in
The only exception is for those who are able to telephone someone who
to afford the inflated telephone charges for prison calls.
the last few years there have been increasing problems with our mail.
the incoming mail, which has always been slow to be processed and given
Lately there have been problems with the letters we are mailing out as
There are many instances where letters mailed from here will sit in the
for a week, or more, before it is finally sent to the post office. If
a child, wife or loved one, who has a birthday coming up, you have to
guess at bow long it will take for your birthday card to be put in the
have heard of many cases where birthday cards, sent from here, have
weeks late even though they had been mailed in plenty of time.
for the incoming mail, we are supposed to receive our letters within 7
days, but it often takes weeks and sometimes months, for the prison to
most disturbing thing with our mail is how often our mail seems to just
disappear. I've had people write to me, who I hadn't heard from in
say they had written before, but never heard back from me. In many
never received a letter I had sent to them. If it was only a few times
this happened, I would consider it just bad luck, but it happens
This isn't something that happens just to me either. I have heard many
complain about this happening.
doesn't seem to be any real way to keep track of the mail and I have no
what happens to the mail that disappears. I do know it is a criminal offense to tamper with the mail in any way. I
don't know if that is true with prison mail, but I would assume once
you put a
postage stamp on a letter, it would be a crime to tamper with that
the last couple of decades mail has changed considerably. The postal
doesn't process many letters now, compared to 20 years ago. Most people
electronic mail these days. I have heard talk about the postal service
discontinuing letter delivery altogether, one day. I have no way of
this is true, but I wouldn't be surprised if eventually that did happen.
mail does become obsolete then it would be logical to assume prisons
to switch to some form of electronic mail. With technology being what
these clays, I would think prisons would be doing all they could to
electronic mail as soon as possible. It would be faster and cheaper, as
more secure. You canít smuggle anything into a prison via electronic
would be much easier for the prison to monitor outgoing and incoming
electronic mail as well.
is a thing of the future prisons though. Prisons never make changes
until they have no other options for the most part. In the present time
mail is always hit or miss. For those of you who write to someone in
you don't hear back from them, you should write a note to inquire if
stopped writing. There is a good chance they never got your letter, or
didn't get a letter they sent to you.
am out of here for this one. Feel free to write me via the website or
by regular mail. I will always reply. All my best to you and thanks for
taking the time to read this.
San Quentin, California 94974