One of their few luxuries is a "Christmas box" - a box full of food goodies.
Only one person can send a Christmas box, so if your friend sends you his form it is probably because he has nobody else he can ask.
I write to Alabama and the rules there were that each box could cost a minimum of $25 and a maximum of $100 (halve the amounts for a rough estimate in UK pounds). The form had to be completed and submitted with payment by a specific date in order for the box to be despatched before Christmas.
I said that it was "food goodies" but in fact many of the items are in pouches like catfood! All are longlife. They include pouches like these - which can be eaten cold or heated in a container of hot water - sweet snacks like cookies, and sauces. I was advised to choose lots of sauces as they help to make the regular prison food palatable. Also included are jars of instant coffee - these are highly desireable (and can also be traded with other prisoners). In fact the only thing my friend specifically asked for was coffee.
In 2007 I again got the chance to buy my friend a box, and this time he asked for chocolate covered peanuts and raisin bran! So do ask your friend what he'd like, even if you then add a few extras as a surprise.
You can buy online, which makes it easier to meet deadlines (no international post to worry about).
If you ever get the chance to buy your friend a box, and you have the means, please do! I know how much my friend appreciated his, and they get so few luxuries that it's a real treat, whatever you pick out!
This page last updated: 05 January 2008
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