Sadly, You Have to Pick and Choose Who You’re Kind to in Prison
Just like in the regular world, there will always be people who take advantage of your kindness.
It goes without saying, there’s always someone with their hand out no matter where you are. This is no different in prison. Overall, I try to be a kind person, although I’ve had to dial that back quite a bit since being here. I am well aware my kindness will be seen as weakness, sadly, so I keep it pretty well hidden. In a place like this, you can’t be seen as a mark or you’ll be taken advantage of in more ways than one.
Here in North Carolina, our state prison system participates in a package program once per quarter. It allows either inmates to order for themselves, debited from their canteen/trust account or for their approved friends/family members to order for them, from an approved vendor. The items available are similar to what the inmates can purchase from canteen during their regular visits (which can be daily/every other day/weekly depending on their schedule). Some items are different flavors, some are not ever available on canteen, some are a bit cheaper than canteen prices, some are a little more expensive, and some are available in bulk.
I think the biggest draw to this program is at least for a little while, from what I can tell, no one says anything about us having more items in our possession than technically we’re allowed to have. That’s a little gray, as technically, as long as it fits in our locker, we can have it, with some exceptions. We’re only allowed 10 books at a time (including puzzle books, fiction/non-fiction, religious texts, and workbooks). We can have as many postage stamps as we want, but we’re not allowed to store them in a container like an old medicine bottle, because that’s considered misuse of medication. Don’t ask, I don’t get it either.
It’s also nice to be able to have seasoning for our food, and the only way you’re getting that is from this package program. I was shocked at the variety of seasoning you’re able to order from it. I’m a flavor person, I despise bland food. Ever since I started cooking for myself, I figured out flavor is where it’s at, so I’ve made sure my food had it. So as soon as I read through the order sheet and saw what…