katy bolger

What Paper Means in Prison

Above: A flash drive embedded in a copy of “Code of Federal Regulations, Title 12, Banks and Banking.”
This story was produced in partnership with The Awl.

Blue ripped up most kites and flushed the pieces, but some, especially those received in the exercise yard, he ate.

Blue, who is 20 years old, knew that even temporary possession of written notes was against the rules, but he shrugged it off as a necessary risk. One such “kite” was an invitation, which read, “Look we cookin … send some kinda meat for your bowl.” It was scrawled across a scrap of notebook paper, folded seven times and passed from one inmate to another via a third. The paper traveled across cellblock C of the prison, a maximum-security facility in a small town in New York.

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