Even though prisoners are allowed the comforts of television and radio, and a few other luxuries, “The letter” is still the longer for treasure in prison, short of freedom. It is a principle factor in curbing the loneliness and frustration due to separation from loved ones.
On any given day, slightly past four o’clock men wait patiently, hoping they will be lucky and receive a letter from a loved on or friend; some wait at the bars, others lay on their bunks hoping the mailman will stop, and a few even pretend they are sleeping, yet every convict hopes a letter will come for him.
A letter is a primary link between prisoners and the outside world; visit are special too, though a letter is forever and doesn’t fade or distort with time.
A few words of cheer from a love one have a wonderful way of making prison life more bearable, helping to give an added lift to prisoner’s moral, giving him an incentive towards self-improvement.
It is amazing what the power of one letter can do to change a prisoner’s whole outlook on life. Rehabilitation didn’t work, punishment didn’t work, and it won’t work again, yet it is startling to see a bitter convict’s expression to cheer with just one letter.
It doesn’t have to be a long letter, in fact, some of the best letters are short and to-the-point letters, expressing love and respect which is almost nil behind these walls.
In return, don’t be surprised if you receive a letter back expressing love, the desire to get a good trade, the desire to advance oneself academically, or a letter depicting a new man with vision…
The letter is an old established means of communication, though the postage rates are continuously rising, and still more and more people are writing letters, and the convict behind walls, the letter is of the mightiest in power.
In spit of the cut-backs with Jarvis/Gann, the cost of living still going up and other events going on the free world, when you go to the ballot poles to vote for cut-backs please don’t vote for cutting back on “letters” to the men behind the walls.