Keeping up with current events—in your community, country, and around the world—is a normal part of everyday life for many of us. Especially in the current political climate. Thanks to modern technology, we now have instant access to more information than we can accurately process. Unless some big tech company tries to censor it.
Many of us don’t even bother to read real newspapers or print magazines because everything is available online. But when it comes to prison inmates, they don’t have that luxury.
When you’re in prison, you’re completely cut off from the outside world. If you don’t have a TV—or if you don’t regularly communicate with family and friends outside—you can hardly keep track of what’s going on in the world. But can prisoners use old-fashioned communication? Can you get newspapers in prison?
In today’s blog post, I’ll discuss the following topics:
- Yes, You Can Get Newspapers in Prison
- Prison Libraries and Church Libraries
- Newspapers, Magazines and Prison Mailrooms
- Prisons can be places of learning
Yes, You Can Get Newspapers in Prison
The simple answer to today’s blog post question is “yes.” Prisoners can get newspapers in prison. Also, they have several options to access these newspapers. I’ll let Mistie Vance, an inmate currently serving her sentence at the Chillicothe Correctional Center, elaborate.
“We are able to receive newspapers in prison, as well as a wide range of magazines and other publications. Most magazines are permitted but are monitored for excessive sexual content and rejected if deemed inappropriate.
In addition to newspapers and magazines, we also accept most Bible studies correspondence courses and other spiritual publications. We can also order books from suppliers, or have books sent to us, as long as they are shipped from suppliers and not from personal residences.
At one point we were even allowed to order calendars and puzzle books from outside suppliers, but can no longer do so as they are served in the convict canteen. “
Prison Libraries and Church Libraries
Mistie also noted that prisoners do not have to subscribe to newspapers or periodicals in order to gain access. Many also have the option of going to the prison library.
“In addition to being able to receive newspapers, magazines and books by mail, we also have access to all three in the institution’s library,” Mistie said. books can be borrowed.
Whether you’re interested in spiritual growth, self-help materials, higher education learning, or just good old fashioned entertainment, there’s something for you!
Two Missouri women’s institutions not only had regular inmate libraries but also church libraries where they could get more spiritual material. Whether you’re Christian, Muslim, Wiccan, Buddhist, Native American, Catholic, and more, you’ll find books to further aid in your spiritual journey.
In addition to books and other study materials, offenders can talk to the prison chaplain about any problems they may have, or help them overcome obstacles they may face in life. In difficult situations, it is often helpful to have someone who is willing to listen and try to help you with a spiritual perspective. “
Newspapers, Magazines and Prison Mailrooms
I want to make it clear that prisoners can receive newspapers and magazines in prison. However, it can be difficult for prisoners to order subscriptions themselves, and they often need outside help.
You cannot mail newspapers, magazines or books directly to prison inmates. Instead, all publications must come directly from the vendor/publisher. This means you can set up gift subscriptions for your inmates to receive their hometown newspaper or any other periodical that you see fit. For books, all must be ordered from the supplier and mailed directly to the prison.
The Prison Mailroom will reject any periodicals or books you attempt to send directly.
Before purchasing a subscription, please confirm that magazines or newspapers are permitted at the particular facility. Also verify that you have the inmate’s complete and accurate mailing address, including their full name, number, and housing unit.
You can also deposit funds into an inmate’s account that they can use to subscribe to periodicals.
Prisons can be places of learning
With the right attitude, prisons can be places where prisoners learn. Of course, resources vary from prison to prison, but most inmates have access to some sort of educational material. And, it can be an opportunity to learn and grow.
This is Mistie’s letter to me after 11 years in prison.
“Because of all the material available in an institutional setting, incarceration is an amazing opportunity to learn and grow in all areas of life. In the eleven years I have been incarcerated, I have had the opportunity to be far more many people.
Since my first ten years without watching TV, I have read hundreds of books, both for entertainment and self-improvement. I have read self help books, books on understanding different personalities, medical books, exercise books, diet books, history books and most importantly, spiritual material books, bible studies and anything else that can help me grow spiritually.
No matter what areas of your life you need to work on to become healthier and more productive post-hospital, there is something that can help.
So whether you are interested in keeping your local newspaper up to date with the latest happenings, entertainment magazines or study resources, bible studies to help you grow spiritually, or books from vendors, prisons offer ample opportunity to acquire and access such Material. How you take advantage of this opportunity is up to you. “
For those of you who have been following this blog, you know that Mistie often contributes to these posts. I wanted to let everyone know that Mistie has found dates for the Parole Board and she will meet them in March 2021.
Hopefully they will approve her immediate release! ! !
Do you think you’d read a lot while in prison and take the opportunity for personal growth? Let us know in the comments below.
Sources: Inmate interview with Mistie Vance