Just because a loved one has been sent to prison, it doesn’t mean you stop caring for them. When someone has been arrested many people feel that in addition to visits, the best way to let their loved one know that they’re still important is by sending gifts and other surprises.
While it’s easy to understand why you would want to send gifts to your incarcerated loved one, you should know that it’s not as simple as you may think. Prison security is always a concern, the people running California’s prisons are more concerned than ever before about the possibility of drugs and other contraband being introduced to the prison system. To prevent this from happening, people are not allowed to simply send packages to the prison.
Packages, which are referred to as quarterly packages, can only come from approved vendors. The prison will not accept any package that has been mailed directly from a friend or family member. While this makes it a little harder for you to send gifts to your loved one, it actually makes things a little easier on the prisoners. Before the California prison system flat-out banned packages that weren’t sent by approved vendors, anytime a prison received a package that contained something they weren’t allowed to have, they had to arrange to have it returned to the sender, on the prisoner’s dime.
Don’t assume that just because packages all have to come from approved vendors that it doesn’t mean you aren’t able to send anything. It simply means you have to go through the vendor. The bad news is that the list of approved vendors isn’t very long, and it doesn’t look like Amazon is on it. The 2022 list of approved prison vendors includes:
- Access Securepak
- 1 Stop Value Pack
- Aramark iCare
- Mike’s Better Shoes
- The Vitamin Outlet
- Union Supply Direct
For more information about what you can and can’t send your loved one while they’re incarcerated, you’ll have to speak directly to the prison.