Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Check out this prison care package “superstore”

There’s now a one-stop shop for inmates and their loved ones to get cigarettes, clothing, food, jewelry, shoes and other sundries delivered to prison.

It’s called

Chris Barrett, a nightclub owner and former inmate himself, had a miserable experience trying to send his brother in prison a stick of deodorant and a salami. Both items are made with alcohol and are prohibited in prison, so they never made it to his brother. In fact, many items are not allowed in prisons, like boxer shorts with patterns on them to CDs that can be broken into weapons. So many items are considered contraband that families often have a hard time knowing what they can send. So everything on is vetted and allowed in packages to inmates.

Barrett founded the company two years ago and tells the NY Times that he’s processing about 40 orders a day.

Since CDs are prohibtied, cassette tapes are the only allowable format for music in prisons. But cassette tapes are really not made anymore. So Barrett convinced Universal Records to publish cassette tapes with music popular inside, like Kanye West’s new album.

The site gives 5 percent of its profits to a charity for children who have incarcerated parents called In Arm’s Reach. Discounts are offered on inmate’s birthdays. And a free calendar is included with every order; now that’s something that those outside might not value these days but if you think about it, a calendar might be just the thing that every inmate could use.



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