I can send my incarcerated uncle emails now.
He’s a perfect example of the school to prison pipeline. He’s my mother’s oldest brother. He’ll be in prison for the rest of his life. We’ve written each other back and forth since I was very young. While in middle school I’d tell him about not fitting in and loving to draw and I’d send him my sketches to critique. He’s a really good artist. My mother and sister have a few of his pieces hanging in their homes. He’s incredibly intelligent. Seriously, he could have been anything. Anything. I have at least 5 or 6 shoeboxes filled with our letters of correspondence.
He’s got a little bit of the misogynoir thing going on but whatever, I love him. He loves me.
Anyway, you can send emails now to inmates instead of snail mail.
They charge you one “stamp” an email.
Each stamp = $1.
In order for the inmate to respond they need stamps too.
So really to email an inmate it cost $2, because obviously you want them to be able to respond.
For every picture attachment you add to the email that’s an additional stamp, so an additional $1.
If your email is longer than a page, they charge you an additional stamp per page (however long a “page” in an email is they don’t really tell you if they’re basing it on character count or word count).
It’s sickening to realize that most people with incarcerated family members probably cant afford this service. I’m over here sending him pictures from my trip to Miami and sending him essay long letters detailing my life - because I can. I don’t know it’s just fucked up, when you see the system at work and the cycle being continued…its just fucked up. My latest email to him cost $5 after adding pictures, and I sent him $10 worth of stamps so he can have a chance to respond to me as well as the rest of our family that corresponds with him who I know is on a more fixed income.
TL/DR: Incarceration is a business, and realizing that and having to feed into that business to communicate with the important people in my life makes me angry.