Coleman II Federal Prison is banning books from all sellers except through the internal prison system as of May 14, 2018. They have also banned all greeting cards, letters written in crayon or marker, and letters on anything but white paper. Warden R.C. Cheatham recently sent out a memo regarding this change.
Books are prisoner’s lifeline to education, the outside and an important way to pass time. Letters from their children are often written in crayon or markers and are extremely meaningful. Greeting cards let inmates know their loved ones are thinking of them. How could any system make these across-the-board changes that will be so detrimental to prisoners?
Yes, drugs do come into prison through various means, but do they really think Amazon is soaking pages in LSD and sending books in? That is absolutely ridiculous. Maybe the fact that purchasing books through the prison system, which has a 30% tax on them, has something to do with this new rule. I think so.
As for the letters and card rule, is there no other way they can look for drugs? How about getting the addicts who are receiving the drug laden letters treatment? So, I guess when your loved one in Coleman II has a birthday, you will have to write “Happy Birthday” on a plain piece of white paper and send it in a white envelope. Nice. They’ll probably like that.
The Florida ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) and FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums) are working to get this ludicrous rule reversed. It is harmful and cruel to prisoners and their families.
I personally send ten to fifteen books a month to my son through Amazon. Not only do I get a good price, (some are used books) but because I have Prime, I get free shipping. I would have to curtail the amount of books I send him if I had to pay a 30% tax and shipping costs. Not only that, I doubt that the variety and choice on Amazon can be matched through the prison system.
I will be writing the warden at Coleman II and the Bureau of Prisons. I hope some of you will join me.
Email Warden Cheatham at: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (352) 689-7000
or mail to: Warden Cheatham
USP Coleman II
PO Box 1024
Coleman FL 33521
Email the Federal Bureau of Prison at:
Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 First St., NW
Washington, DC 20534