Cards from Inmates

Written by Melissa Bee

August 8, 2015

bday cards

If you’ve written to an inmate for any length of time, chances are you’ve received a card, similar to the ones above. Cartoon characters are a popular subject for artists on the inside. Because no cash is allowed in prison, inmates will trade goods from commissary or other services for cards. This is technically against the rules, but not strictly enforced. The most commonly traded commissary items are stamps, coffee, and soups.

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  1. L. T. Renaud

    Hi, your post about the cards is cute and informative. I wonder: is there anyone reading who might not know what “commissary” means? And it seems to mean something a little different at different prisons and for different kinds of inmates. Maybe everyone else is just smarter than I am–but there was/is a lot of lingo that was/is flying past me when I was/am trying to understand the whole system. There’s a certain vocabulary everyone uses that people in-the-know know, but people out-of-the-know don’t.

    Anyway, just a thought–delete if it’s not useful.

    XO – L

    • mbee

      Thank you for your comment. 🙂

      In composing a reply, I felt there was enough information to warrant it’s own blog post – look for it in the next few days.


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