Monday, December 31, 2007

Follow that Van!

As we pulled into our parking spot, a favorite deputy walked up to our "Jails Van." He had a quizzical look on his face, then broke into a smile. He had been staring at the magnetic poster on the side of our van that says, "Your Library Card-- Get It!"

This diehard deputy thought our sign said, "Your Liberal Card--Get It!" That's right, L-I-B-E-R-A-L! This made our day, being the card-carrying A.L.A. members that we are!

No bad reflection on our Conservative confreres in the Jails Library business. I'm sure they're out there...somewhere...diligently preserving the rights of the poor and oppressed. :-)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200!

Go directly to this link:

Our little old blog is mentioned, but much more besides.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Criminal Justice and Karma

The accused and the accusers come to court
intent upon their side, alone.
But criminal and victim form a whole.
Dante, Milton, Blake portrayed
the devil as a fallen arrow
shot from the Creator's bow.

A fallen angel is an angel still.
Karma acknowledges each deed
and sees its true reciprocal.
Love is a self-exciting dynamo, a magnetic field
generated by Earth's core. It sends out
tender cords to pull all things back to itself.

Where is the human heart that judges all,
the karmic wheel within the wheel
that turns within this blue green world?
It spins upon an axis of desire.
The one who comprehends desire
dispenses justice, a deeper thing than guilt.

--Dan Hess

Dan's 2-cents: Of course, this is why we bring them books. They are part of us, or as Tennyson once wrote: "I am a part of all that I have met...."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dublin, we love you!

The Jails' team wants to thank the Friends of the Library at Dublin for extraordinary generosity. The whole van was filled. With "hauls" like this, the program based on 75% donations can continue.

Though this Staff member looks beat, he knows that a bin in the van is worth a "book in the hand" of some happy inmate.

Keep 'em coming. Yeehah!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Needle in "La-Haye" Stack

Don't get me wrong, but a Deputy reported last Thursday that he found a needle taped in a book. Whether it was the Left Behind series or not, the Needle was Left Behind by someone!

It came as a huge shock to the library staff. He said the tape was yellowing so the needle had obviously been in the book for some time.

We have no idea if it was "our" book, stamped with our county and branch. He didn't keep the book to show us, just reported it to us casually. I wish we could have seen the title and determined its origin. Strangely enough, nearly every book passes the scrutiny of one of three people on our staff during its selection and processing. Since we choose the books, we often remember where and when we got them.

So we don't know the book's origin. This is the big problem and cause to blog or scream from the rooftops. Every paperback in the jail is perceived as OURS. Though the copy may originate at an outside vendor and come in through the mail, or through the Chaplain's program with its healthy book budget, or be brought in casually by a technician or deputy--all books wind up on OUR CARTS or in bags for our removal if inmate cells are "shaken down."

Only our longevity as a book service, our yearly contract, and the trust which each librarian or library assistant creates "on the job" ensures that we are welcome. Needles in books are a serious blow to that trust. This particular deputy was very jovial and enjoys getting books into the hands of inmates. There have been many deputies who might have called our whole program into question.

Obviously, we should and do check our books and magazines. Small taped items with hardly any thickness could float around for years unnoticed. I guess it's human trickery and human error, and I should just take a deep breath. Perhaps inmates saw the needle and passed it by, preferring a dose of fiction or non-fiction to dope. Hmmmm???? Likely story!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Behold the Pale Librarian

I have scored a copy of Behold the Pale Horse by William Cooper for some lucky inmate. We routinely tell inmates the book is not available, due to its cost--not to its content. It is perhaps the most requested "undeliverable" book in our program. What a windfall to have a copy fall into our hands.

Cooper tells the kind of story many inmates--especially those remotely connected to illegal drug traffic--want to read. Cooper alleges covert government involvement in drug deals, citing secret operations that occasionally blow up in the perpetrators faces (like the Iran-Contra scandal.) As an added titillation, UFO hoaxes are discussed. Cooper sees them as a way to throw the public into a state of panic in which citizens give up their constitutional rights. The book points out how larger powers of search and seizure are granted to police and federal agents, which is a story of great interest to people in jail. (Photocopies of top secret documents pertaining to Assassinations and Military Rule are scattered throughout the book.) Things and people discussed in the book have gained even more power since the book was published in 1990. Some have danced away from any public scrutiny of their conflicts of interest. Your run-of-the-mill conspiracy theory book is usually less prescient than this tome.

As librarians who rely on donations of social science and history that often give glowing accounts of "The Greatest Generation," this book offers a glimpse at the dark side of that patriotic furor. Criminality from the top down! Cooper's villains certainly glow, but with a more radioactive hue. There is really no way to rule it out based on blatant falsehoods or racist innuendo. It doesn't surrender to these "lowest common denominators" to attract its audience.

The worlds of Public Library and Jails Library do not always mesh. This blog cites many examples of censorship by the Sheriff's Department. I hope this book does not meet that fate, because it would certainly be nixed only on the basis of its political content--however "planted" or "fake" that content might be. Whatever happens, it still costs a bundle and we aren't going to run out and buy it. But it should keep one lucky inmate reading through the night.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Comic Relief!

I, John Doe, number 555. By all means would like [to] get a ragged old dictionary that [is] lying around some place, please.

From ragged old to spanking new, we can never score enough college-level dictionaries for our inmates. But this guy knows how to pull our heart --or puppet -- strings!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Make an Inmate's Life take on a new trajectory, Donate a GED Prep book today!

Special Request: Our jails library service has been asked by our Wildly Successful GED Instructors to solicit GED prep books from donors. Email the address below if you are interested in directly donating these materials. Contact me at

Please use Donations in SUBJECT LINE.


Incarceration Nation: The Rise of a Prison-Industrial Complex

27, 2007 by Andrew Bosworth

Consider this disturbing fact: the United States now has the world's highest incarceration rate outside of North Korea. Out of 1,000 people, more Americans are behind bars than anywhere in the world except in Kim Jong-Il's Neo-Stalinist state. The US has a higher incarceration rate than China , Russia, Iran, Zimbabwe and Burma - countries American politicians often berate for their human rights violations.

Well over two million Americans are behind bars. Let us agree that violent criminals and sex offenders should be in jail, but most Americans are not aware that over one million people spend year after year in prison for non-violent and petty offenses: small-time drug dealing, street hustling, prostitution, bouncing checks and even writing graffiti.

....The Founding Fathers would be rolling in their graves even faster than they already are if they knew that prisons are now lucrative corporations. These "McJails" receive money from government on a per-prisoner, per-day basis. No doubt, had the framers of the Constitution imagined that future Americans could descend to such depths they would have banned the commercialization of prisons outright.

Not surprisingly, the executives of these for-profit prisons sponsor "tough-on-crime" legislation and even line the pockets of politicians who back "mandatory sentencing" laws. For-profit prisons even get to write new mandatory sentencing laws to guarantee the raw material (the rabble of society) for an emerging prison-industrial complex.

In a Great Leap Backward, American politicians have also repealed two federal laws (the Hawes Cooper Act and the Ashurst-Sumner Act) that virtually outlawed prison labor, making it a felony to move prison-made goods across state boundaries. Stamping state license plates for cars was generally acceptable, but these Acts tried to end the leasing out of prisoners to private companies - they tried to eliminate prison-plantations and "factories with fences."

In the 1970s, a Supreme Court Justice, Warren Burger, proselytized for more leeway as to what kinds of "projects" prisoners could work on. Before too long, Congress amended the laws, and by 1990 it was permissible for prisoners to produce products entering the stream of interstate commerce. Many of the largest corporations in America have taken advantage of prison labor in what might be called "Operation Sweatshop."

Amazingly, on there is a separate section for "investors." "Corrections Corporation of America is the nation's largest owner and operator of privatized correctional and detention facilities and one of the largest prison operators in the United States behind only the federal government and three states" (Corrections Corporation of America).

Thus, the "tough on crime" propaganda masks a profit motive. Naturally, no politician can say that "my campaign was paid for by corporate lock-downs" or "I help run prison sweatshops." [Though Tom Delay would not be above such a boast, having applauded the practice of government-santioned sweat shops and prostitution on the Marianas Islands!] Representatives in Congress - mostly the "Big Government" Republicans but also many "Nanny-State" Democrats - are becoming the new goons in an emerging for-profit police state.

Call your broker.

Dan's 2-cents: The statistics are staggering, when one considers how far the percentage of incarcerated people vs. general population has risen since the rowdy early days of this Republic. It seems that the forces of Punishment and Greed are always beating back the forces of Equality and putting them in stocks (and bonds!)

Equality is part of the democratic bargain and it can't be traded away on Wall Street.

On a lighter note: On my salary, I think I'll refrain from investing in prison-based STOCKS! We trade in books, exclusively! I'm happy to fork over funds for the purchase of books for inmates. Feel free to join the process.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Through a Hole in the Door:

Encouraging words came our way today from a young man in the Maxest of the Maximum Security Cells. He has done time in a number of prisons and jails and told us that our library carts are...drum roll, please...the BEST! Though this compliment may have had ulterior motives (ie, procuring some more James Patterson books for his book cart,) the guy was straight with his praise for our service. He said that most facilities just didn't bother with books or only brought the oldest stuff.

We feel bad because our books aren't in mint condition, but this inmate can overlook Anne Rice books mummified in tape or Sidney Sheldon's Nothing Lasts Forever scrawled in marker on the spine. He's thankful for the real thing, and we are, too.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A very good day:

On June 28, 2007, the team had one of its best services ever. This occured in a Maximum Security house, where one deputy delayed his routine afternoon chores to stand guard over the service. He did not have to miss his lunch break, as some deputies have to do in order to accommodate the librarians. Central Operations commanders made book service possible by not scheduling too many conflicting duties for this deputy. He was free to help the team and this sense of accommodation created a cooperative mood among the inmates. On one occasion, he was forced to assert his authority and reprimand folks crowded at a doorway, but the reprimand established order and the "crowd" reformed itself into a line of individuals interested in books.

By the way, this deputy had no back-up on the floor. The library team is often denied access to inmates for this reason, alone -- especially in max houses where arguments can escalate very quickly into hostility and more coverage may be helpful. Even with this added risk, the deputy's authority was adequate to the task. The security priority was moderated by his recognition that the inmates need the mental stimulation of reading.

Many skeptics say that inmates abuse the books and game the system simply to get free stuff. First of all, who wouldn't avail themselves of the pleasure of reading--especially when bare walls are the alternative?? Yes, some books go down the toilet to cause headaches for the maintenance crew. Some books make the stiff beds more comfortable. Some magazines are stripped of their beautiful models, or even liquidated to provide ink for tatoos. But inmates primarily pour over the words these books contain. Their minds are broadened, according to their curiosity. A culture that kills curiosity is a dead culture and the life-enhancing value of lit really stands out in jail.

Any Grinches in our midst should be reminded of the fact that inmates pay for the lion's share of the book service through surcharges on commissary purchases. (This surcharge snags 50-cents per inmate per month for reading materials for a population of 4000 inmates.)

On June 28th, everyone USED us and we loved it! The entire population of the house (190 men) received access to the book cart and magazines.

What is a bad day?

The worst scenario for inmates and for the library team is 24-hour lockdown with no access to programs or benefits like reading materials. The County Library has a contractual duty to rotate materials for each house every 4 weeks, whether inmates receive them or not. Inmates have a highly-developed sense of fairness and a keen sense of justice; therefore they demand access to the materials we bring. They know carts are locked in the closet, waiting.

Many deputies allow interested individuals access to the book carts and magazines, though they refuse contact between inmates and the library team. There have been several occasions, however, when the security or lock-down model has been enforced so strictly that the materials delivered are not touched for more than one or even two months. An undisturbed book cart and neat magazine boxes are the worst case scenario.

There you have it: the good with the bad.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Raided Rooms

Soldiers in the doorway
with orders to search,
a father goes hoarse,
asking, "What do you want?"

This face or that? Each wonders who
will be the target of this raid,
"What did we do?" You!
And You! And You! Move!

The young, wide-open eyes
see their elders disappear
down stairs and hallways,
gone for "Processing."

The neighbors' windows flicker
blue from the TV.
No one watches the street,
no one wants to feel the heat

approaching block by block,
the creeping onslaught of apocalypse.
Some people sleep while others are removed.
"Just pray it isn't" you or you or you.

The TV talks of Progress in the War;
the faceless face of some elected fool
assures the viewers, "You are on God's side."
The ones who were not taken turn away.

Take me, Take Me to meet
the soldiers who don't blink black tears
as they take hooded prisoners
down rubble-littered streets.

Dan's 2-cent's worth: What America does abroad, it does and will do more of at Home. Arrests may take place 7000 miles away today and next door tomorrow.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

"Don't do the Crime if you can't do the Time!"

That's easy for Baretta to say, but those without a TV series may see things differently. Take A.C., for example:

"Please send me a book on astro-projection. If I could make contact with this other person I might be able to stop her from ruining my life. Please hurry, send the book."
Perhaps we should send Please Understand Me, or scare up a copy of I'm Okay, You're Okay, but we don't want to disappoint. Astral Projection may very well get the message across, though the real Ms. X might give his astral body a welcome he didn't have in mind. You know what they say about dropping in, unannounced.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Don't tell them about the...D.O.G.S!!!!!!

Check your freedoms at the door, folks, it's...Jail Time!

Shirley Glennor wrote a piece on prison censorship back in Feb 2007. It touched on things we are seeing in our own program and even gets to our own "desire to please" by selecting material that won't offend the correction's staff:

Censorship in prison libraries is on the rise, the extent varying from state to state and among individual institutions within the same state....Below are some of the kinds of challenges that the librarians reported:

  • No graphic novels because some show skimpily dressed women and it may affect sex treatment programs.
  • No hardback books, because it is easy to hide contraband in spine of these books
  • No ethnic materials or programs because it means they would have to provide for every ethnic group that demands materials.
  • Mail room has a 20 page list of materials that are not allowed.
  • No homegrown newspapers because it reports the crimes in the neighborhood from which the inmates come and they are afraid of gang retaliation.
  • They have faith-based programs and want materials that support those programs.
  • They tear out sections of magazines that have what they consider inappropriate before sending them to the library or to the inmates who have subscriptions.
  • [Our jails program has a hard time obtaining Spanish-language fotonovellas with racy covers, peppy crime plots and steamy sex scenes. This did not use to be a problem, but certain vendors are reluctant to carry them.]

Many of the censorship challenges are arbitrary, based on the bias or punitive attitude of individual security officers or other personnel within the institution. Some examples of these are:

  • A prison psychologist advocated removal of books on crime because she felt books on true crime impeded her attempts to treat offenders.
  • A corrections officer wanted books about dogs removed because the institution had a canine unit and he feels it is not good for the inmates to know anything about dogs.
  • The administration in one institution did not want a National Geographic video about Nelson Mandela to be shown because it had a shot of an African child without clothes.
  • Some officers argued about having books on how to start businesses because they feel it is a teaching tool for inmates' scams.
Librarians cope with these challenges in a variety of ways. Some form selection committees comprising education, and security staff, and this helps to reduce the number of challenges. (The cynical part of me says at least it gets some of the security staff to read some literature). Others have used the Library Bill of Rights, pointing out that the materials in question in no way compromise security....

Dan's 2-cents: Erasing Privacy from the Books!

One is always tempted to react to the ignorance or stubbornness of people who censor library materials. It is true that the dumbing down and toughening up of our society allows the least enlightened to set the tone and make the rules.

However, any discussion of censorship in jails and prisons must take into account the Authorities far more powerful than corrections staff. These well-funded, highly-educated figures are playing fast and loose with our freedoms. Some of them are sitting on the Supreme Court, but more on that later.

Just as a private organization like the Boy Scouts can discriminate against gay young people in its selection policy, privatized jails and prisons can discriminate in their book selection policies or spend their "faith-based funds" without the guidelines of an equal access policy essential to public librarianship.

There have been court cases initiated by inmates who complained their religions were not being served. This type of discrimination has not been permitted by courts. However, the notion of uncensored, equal-access book selection seems to be under "Court" Radar.

Censorship may be part of a larger attack on an individual's right to privacy.

Several Supreme Court Justices have asserted that the U.S. Constitution guarantees "No Right to Privacy" for individual citizens. While these justices deride a concept American Citizens hold dear, they gleefully uphold the private affliliations of "corporations" or "institutions" and heap privileges upon them. Conveniently for them, public and private interests and rights are becoming indistinguishable under the guise of "privatization." In the privatized sphere, individuals seem to be losing rights while the merged interests of corporations--with the legal status individuals once enjoyed--receive greater rights to discriminate and withhold funding.

Ordinary people can point out this travesty of justice until they are blue in the face, but no one listens. Okay, who else has noticed? Why does Sandra Day O'Connor, retired from the court, now warn us that our state is adopting fascism? Is it from INSIDE KNOWLEDGE?

Individuals such as Thomas Jefferson knew what individual rights to privacy were. Jefferson championed these rights in the Bill of Rights that guaranteed freedom of speech and security in one's papers. The framers considered their solitary, private selves as models for the ordinary citizen. The Enlightenment to which Jefferson subscribed championed a free mind engaged in free inquiry, regardless of one's station.

We are the same old individuals we always were and deserve the same rights. Regardless of one's criminal status, the reading and writing of inmates does not jeopardize security. The "mind" is a barrier that can never be breached, so why does the government think it controls the Minds of Inmates and what does it gain from the pretense?

If our private papers happen to be published materials--the books we CHOOSE TO READ in the pursuit of "life, liberty and happiness--how can it be legal for those materials to be confiscated and removed? We can laugh at the guy who's scared of showing dogs or the human body to inmates, but we cannot laugh at the Supreme Court and Executive Branch so interested in erasing privacy from the books.

Reference: Glennor, S. (2007) retrieved on May 7, 2007 from

Monday, April 16, 2007

More than a Prisoner....

60 MINUTES: 4/15/07 -- MAXIMUM SECURITY EDUCATION -- Bob Simon visits a prison where inmates serving long sentences have found a way to free their minds through college education provided by elite Bard College. Catherine Olian is the producer.

I watched this program on a hospital TV while visiting a friend. It was a reminder that we all share institutional experiences throughout our lives, but no person can be reduced to his or her institutional ties. The woman in bed with heart problems was a patient--but only for the time being.

One very astute and determined student among the inmates said he had a daughter who had just been accepted into college. He had broken through the inertia and confusing feelings that come from being in prison and maintained a relationship with his daughter. He cared about her success. This would be an admirable step in itself, but he had gone even further to say to his daughter--as he said to the camera--that he was "more than a prisoner." He had completed the requirements for his Bard College degree and was going through graduation at the prison.

Correctional Facilities are designed for a transforming process like higher education. According to one local politician, prison "should change people." This is a truism because everyone knows prison DOES change people, it is just the staff's opportunity to help make SOME CHANGES for the better! I have watched highly-sociable people with great conversational skills and a sense of curiosity crash and burn as their trial unfolds and incarceration works its "magic" on their souls. Focused education with a curriculum pointed at the outside world helps inmates confront and question the negative transformations that occur in prison.

Our own library service resembles the Bard College program on some fronts, especially the Reading For Life Classes that are a part of Jails Literacy. Even sustained reading with a wide selection of books helps inmates face depression and boredom. Perhaps, a few minds are transformed. We have certainly heard our readers speak of being moved or changed or challenged. It is no shallow statement to hear them say--like the man on 60 Minutes--they are more than Prisoners.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Are you down with THAT?!

Tressa of Birmingham Public Library wrote:

Urban fiction. Hip hop fiction. Gangsta literature. Ghetto lit. Street lit. What once had no formal definition now has many names. Urban fiction is defined by its location of the urban environment and its subject matter of poverty, racism, gangs, drugs and prostitution. The characters are African American or sometimes Latino who speak in the tough vernacular of street speak. Thus Mary Monroe and Terry McMillan do not write urban fiction; Terri Woods and Iceberg Slim do write urban fiction.

Urban fiction was never really considered legitimate literature and was not taken seriously by publishers. This changed when Terri Woods began selling copies of her book True to the Game (1994) out of the trunk of her car, and word of mouth helped the book sell more than 200,000 copies.

Since then urban fiction has been flying off the shelves. Provocative covers and exciting plot lines attract scores of readers. I've worked in the Fiction Department for eight years and have seen its popularity steadily increase. It doesn’t look like it's slowing down any time soon.

Urban fiction started with Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines in the 70's, followed by Sister Souljah in the 80's with The Coldest Winter Ever, and now these writers who are carrying on the tradition:

T. N. Baker * Chunichi * Wahida Clark * Keisha Ervin * K'wan Foye Michael Gainer * Erik S. Gray * James Earl Hardy * Shannon Holmes * LaJill Hunt * Angel M. Hunter * Jihad * Solomon Jones Thomas Long * Joseph Nazel * Noire * Michael Presley * A. J. Rivers * Vickie M. Stringer * Nikki Turner * Omar Tyree * Carl Webber * Tu Shonda L. Whitaker"

Retrieved from & urban-fictionso-thats-what-its-called.html (Copy to notepad and delete &, then paste into browser to access original web page.)

Dan's 2-Cents: Thanks to Susan, our Web Librarian, for the link. If we bought books exclusively from this list of authors, we'd send 75% of our readers through the jail roof. The Correction's Staff may not like that since they prefer that inmates keep their feet on the ground! Each time an Urban Book is included in our bin of carefully-packed materials, we must decide which cell-block will be the lucky winner.

Non-conformity in language is part of Urban Fiction's appeal to outsiders and runs parallel to the socially-disapproved or criminal "Action" of the stories. But what about the insiders? For readers who grew up on the streets, the familiarity of the dialect and action is a prime source of attraction.

I was surprised to see Coldest Winter Ever on the list. It is a tale of "The Life," but sets the bar higher for all the authors listed, based on its emotional integrity. The pain behind the writer's words is felt, is real and conveyed without the comic book aura employed by a few of the other authors named above. Our readers can sure distinguish the best from the mediocre and they love Sister Souljah.

However. any of these books are great if you want a quick fix to pass the time between TV and bed!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Our Books, our Selves

What is the fate of discards, especially from the Poetry Shelves? Poets live with the nagging knowledge that their words will disappear. Writers from other disciplines are often too self-flattering to envision a librarian weeding her shelves or the cataloger hitting his delete button. But discard they do!

Enter the informed reader, desperate for a good book--circulation stats be damned! Here's a stanza rescued from the dumpster of oblivion:

from Song of Farewell....

Was mir geliehen wurde
wechselndes Licht an den Wänden,
Verständnis für manche Vergeblichkeit,
ein tifer gespürter Schimmer des Laubes--
dem Unerfahrbaren geb ichs zurück.

What was loaned to me:
changing light on walls,
understanding of many a futility,
a deeper-felt glimmer of leaves--
I give them back to the never-to-be-known.

(Original German text by Heinz Piontek, English translation by Gertrude Schwebell.)

dan's 2-cents: The data patrol made up of well-trained information specialists may not know the value of these words, but I do.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

No Fear....

Imagine all the jail cells in the world and the non-human inmates who reside there. Spiders—for instance—are tough cellies to reckon with. Some inmates, however, find these predatory invertebrates fascinating. Here’s Christopher on the topic of a recent spider bite:

"I'm looking for any kind of books on spiders or spider bites. I believe I was bitten on my face by a spider just the other day. I even found a spider in my cell that might have bitten me. The odd thing about it is that I think it's the same spot where I have been bitten before. If you could help me with any reading material on spiders or bites, I would really appreciate it. Thank you, and have a nice day." These are not the words of an arachnophobe!

In the United States, only the bites of the brown recluse and the black widow are poisonous. Allergic reactions to other types can also pose a threat. But for a great many people, the FEAR of those eight scurrying legs freezes them in their tracks.

Insect-Inspecta offers these insights on the “COPING STYLES OF ARACHNOPHOBICS.”

"A psychiatry professor from Canada classifies arachnophobics in two categories: monitors and blunters. When a "monitor" enters a room, he searches the entire room for a spider. When he finds one, he not only makes sure he knows where it is but he continues to follow or monitor it. A "blunter" does the exact opposite: he does everything in his power to keep from seeing a spider in a room. He will distract himself, even talking to himself to avoid seeing the spider." [One category was excluded. Marta, my coworker, says she is a killer.]

For me, the early memory of a huge black spider crawling up the tap and falling into the bathtub (with me!) induced a lifetime of jitters.

Monday, January 22, 2007

You think YOUR mail gets lost? Inmate Steve sends an Aztec Warrior to sort things out!

Librarian: Could you see to it that STEVE MARTINI receives this [drawing and letter?] I do write to authors but I'm afraid mail gets lost or never delivered so I can't be sure. Besides you'd know where to sent it, wouldn't you? Thanks 4 your help. -- Steve B.

Dan's 2-cents: Yes, there appears to be a force field that "disappears" books and letters coming in and out of the jail. Many of the disappeared items go missing during Shakedowns and reappear in huge plastic bags stuffed with library books, personal items, sock balls and plastic sandals!

I can't say where the letters go. But as the trusty bookcart man, I'm happy to send them on their way. We have received letters to Iyanla Vanzant, as well.