1. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Your prison care package

    Discussion in 'Research' started by peachalulu, Sep 11, 2015.

    I'm doing a futuristic prison story in which the characters ( lifers ) are allowed care packages in boxes 16 inch long by 12 inch wide and 6 inch deep. They are allowed anything in the box but drugs or weapons. Electronics would be pointless as there is no electricity in the prison. Acceptable - Canned food, packaged food, candy, magazines, comics, books, cigarettes, stationary, beer or booze. Not excepted - tools, weapons, electronics, newspapers. As I'm a person of pretty plain tastes, I'm looking for some diversity in picks - what would your care packed be filled with?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Alcohol is a drug.
    Why magazines but not newspapers?
    Personally I'd leave the cigarettes out. It's so 50s sci-fi. :p
    But it's your story.

    If it's the future, you need something exotic. How about vials of aromas that trigger pleasure or memories?

    Some sort of barter currency.

    Art supplies.
     
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  3. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    To be honest it's not that futuristic. I just say futuristic to avoid the fact that someone might nail me on whether or not this is procedure. It's a jail in the future in which no one is paroled from and the location is weird. That's the only 'futuristic' things about the story. Plus - the world doesn't care about a bottle of booze or a can of beer being sent to a prisoner but there's still a crack down on drugs especially some of the evolutions of them. Only a few manage to get them smuggled in.

    Certain magazines are allowed but they really don't want the prisoners aware of what's going on in the world or getting messages through personal ads in the paper.

    Like the scent idea though, as shampoo is a luxury item. Same with decent soap.
    Art supplies is a good idea. Hadn't thought of that one.
     
  4. Aled James Taylor
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    Aled James Taylor Contributing Member Contributor

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    A clockwork gramophone and selection of disks (totally mechanical).

    Shampoo and decent soap are for girls. These items would be desirable if this is a woman's prison.
     
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  5. Nicoel
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    Nicoel Contributing Member

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    I'd want a clock (a purely mechanical one) so that I could keep track of the time. A tube of lipstick or mascara (everyone wants to feel pretty every once in a while).

    Some flip-flops for the shower, walking shoes, a decent pillow (you can suck all the air out of a little bag, so the pillow doesn't take much room in the box), bubble gum, blank journals with a pack of pencils, pictures from before, scents that trigger memories, coffee, chocolate, maybe a mug?, sugar, homemade food (cafeteria food would suck), vitamins, toothbrush, teddy bear/some sort of stuffed animal, coat, hair ties, solar flash light, solar charged mini heater, solar charged mini A/C, lotion, spice set to make the prison food taste better, guitar/some sort of musical instrument, and a book to learn how to play music.

    I wouldn't request this personally, but I know quite a few people would: sex toys (i.e. dildos, fleshlight), nude magazines, a large book of erotica in that persons preferences, and lube (or just a really large bottle of safe lotion).
     
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  6. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    Photos and letters from family and friends, children's artwork, books - general or specific interest - maybe even textbooks for some vocation the character dreamed of pursuing but never had time to study during daily life?

    I'll second art supplies and basic toiletries, maybe a mirror. Paper and writing implements. Needles and boot polish for tattoos...

    To buck the trend, might specifically not want a clock: the time might pass more quickly if not watching it.

    Deflated sports balls and a pump? Might be possible to send an assortment of inflatable furniture? Can be pretty comfortable.

    Assorted small musical instruments, especially easy-to-learn ones - harmonica, panpipes, tinwhistle, recorder, percussion, drumsticks, etc; ukulele might fit?, might be possible to send a guitar piece-by-piece (+ spare strings! - so frustrating to have none when they break). Having several instruments available could be a way to make friends, strengthen community, occupy time, etc... the learning process might render characters wide open for a shivving though.

    Protein bars and powder to capitalise on all the workout time. Rock-hard abs to deflect the shiv (garrotte assailant with spare guitar string).
     
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  7. Nicoel
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    Nicoel Contributing Member

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    I second the inflatable sports balls! You might be able to give a book about different work outs that doesn't involve specific equipment.

    I also like the idea of something to create tattoos with. Not sure if needles would be allowed though? Could that count as a weapon? Certainly could hurt someone with one...
     
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  8. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    A deck of cards,a beading kit, jigsaw puzzles. Some stuffed animals, some little figures (like Lucky Cats) to put around my room, posters (if they'll let me bring them). A few notebooks and a pack of pens, and drawing pads with a pack of pencils and colored markers. Also, tons of books, both novels and on history, world religions, psychology, things like that. Also, my Japanese workbook, and maybe my Spanish workbook as well. Magazines like People, Seventeen, QuizFest, etc, and a magazine of manga. A yoga mat, and a book of yoga poses, excersizes, dances like ballet, tap, etc. Flip flops, tweezers for my eyebrows, those little packs of cookies or crackers, Crystal Light mix. I do play the clarinet (a fairly small instrument) so I'd have that and some books of music,ahe maybe learn tin whistle, ukulele, whatever I can. I'd bring a portable (battery powered) DVD player as well, and as many/whatever kind of DVDs that they let me bring.
     
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  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Re the inflatable balls, when I was in grad school I took a summer quarter in business administration (got a minor in business admin). The university sponsored some Japanese bankers in an exchange program and I volunteered to befriend one. It was great fun and he was very generous. He gave me some of these really cool paper balls.
    [​IMG]
    You blow them up and despite the fact the air is not sealed in, you can bat them around and they don't deflate. I still have them. And I still cherish my experience with my Japanese banker. :D
     
  10. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    This is from an actual business that sends care packages to inmates:

    "The Inmate Package program is commissioned by LA County Correctional Department to provide for the needs of inmates and their friends and family. This program is provided by Keefe Commissary Network and its affiliates which have the most comprehensive commissary and custom package programs in the correctional industry. The program was developed to provide inmate care packages quickly and securely without the hassles of approvals and delivery."

    But, if I were trying to cheat the system and have some items shipped in that seemed -- non-malevolent -- I'd ask for wood and glue and would have someone on the inside of the above business.

    Maybe a piece of the hardest wood known to man included in a Beef Jerky package. Some glue included in the Ramen Noodle package. From those two items, hard wood and glue, I could create a weapon, a screwdriver, etc. I would also ask my cohort on the outside to place a steel string in the constraints of the package (constraints meaning seam) -- I could use that steel string as a makeshift saw.
     

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