The American Prison Writing Project
198 College Hill Road
Hello, I am writing in response to your ad in the Prison Legal News. I want to actively participate in the project.
Right now, I am currently incarcerated in the Washington State Department of Corrections. I am here on a First Degree Robbery charge. I robbed a bank in Elma, WA, (with a note), went to a jury trial and received 14 and a half years for my bad judgement. I hate it when that happens...Such is the way that it goes. Anyway, what I want to write about right at the moment is the way that this state promotes monopolies.
They do not allow anything from anyone but access securepak @ www.washingtonpackages.com, P.O. Box 50028, Sparks NV 89435-0028. Phone number 1-800-546-6283. They do not allow any of these items that we need to be purchased from any other vendor when it comes to typing supplies, shoes, and general items that we need. That way, they can extort us and anyone that try's to help us in my opinion, which makes it really hard on our friends and families every time they want to help us.
I am not trying to be fallacious or unreasonable about this opinion that I support. I am just calling attention to the facts as I see them. We are all supposed to have this first amendment right, or so they say.
My first example of the behavior that I am talking about is the typing supplies that we are allowed to purchase from Access. We are allowed to purchase a typewriter called: "The Brother 4000". A very cheap unit that has 1 line of memory. Not enough memory to do anything else with. Then to purchase any of the supplies that are needed, we have to go through Access. We cannot even use the services of the company that makes the Brother typewriter for ribbons or typing wheels. Because DOC does not allow them on the approved vendor list. Go figure huh.
Access only sells us the cheapest ribbon that is produced. They charge us $7.49, plus a $4.00 shipping fee for the item %51314010N, Brother Correctable Ribbon Cartridge. They do not allow us to get one that will last. That way they can further their monopoly actions with the Access company. They probably split the $4.00 fee that is charged on every order that is made.
I had some ribbons sent to me direct from the Brother Co., they were rejected by the property room because they did not come from Access. What a racket DOC and Access have going. The property room officer called the supplies "contraband".
Also, we have typewriters in the law library that are from the same company, Brother, only they are the cheaper version. They do not even have one line of memory and we are suppose to use carbon paper because they refuse to allow anything that does not have one of the units purchased from Access, then we cannot even get the ribbons from Access because DOC does not want anyone doing any legal work for anyone else. Imagine that!
Yes, it is quite a dilemma of sorts to say the least. It is very, very frustrating at any measure.
There is no limit to the extent that these people will go to extort any funds that they have the slightest access to. This includes our friends, families, and anyone that might consider helping us on any level.
It is really overwhelming at any cost. I know that I have to be and am responsible for the reason that I am here instead of out in society. I am paying for my actions and bad judgement by being locked up and away from my family and the ones that I care about and love. I should not have to watch my family be extorted for trying to help me and care about my well being. It seems like the DOC feels that it is their mission to punish not only the prisoners in their charge, but anyone and everyone that has anything to do that might help us that are locked up.
One would think that there should be some kind of relief from these actions. But as long as they can get away with it, I am sure that they will continue to do as they are doing.
I look forward to this project as a way to vent and to explore all of the reasons and actions that are so much a part of the prison system and how they have made it such a big, profitable business of locking up as many people as they can and taking as much money as they can from everyone involved.
There had go to be some type of justice someday.
Rufus A. Phelps III
Stafford Creek Corrections Center
191 Constantine Way
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