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Topic: Kind of Different question

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Subject: Kind of Different question
Date Posted: 6/4/2012 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2007
Posts: 115
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I think this is a different type of question - couldn't find anything quite like it here. My hubby has a son in federal prison and he is not allowed to receive books from individuals but only from "stores". I noticed that I do have a choice of the return address when I send a book: either my address or PBS address in Atlanta. My question is would the PBS address be acceptable as a "from" address? Does anyone know? He only has 7 months but I thought I'd try to do a boxer swap requesting some books he likes.  Or something. :)  Thanks in advance for any information anyone might have.

Date Posted: 6/4/2012 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 460
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I'm not a PBS Tour Guide, but personally,  I'd check with the prison first.  My first thought was, if the box was received at the prison, and they had any questions or concerns, they wouldn't know who to contact... 


Date Posted: 6/4/2012 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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From the Terms of Use (please see below), I don't think you can use your account to direct books to your husband's son using your address or the PBS address. 

Correctional Institution Inmates Prohibited
This Site may not be used to ship books to or from any jail, prison or correctional facility of any kind. Inmates at any jail, prison, or correctional institution are expressly prohibited from using this service. By agreeing to these Terms of Use, you acknowledge that you are not currently incarcerated in any jail, prison, or correctional facility of any kind and further agree not to allow your account to be used by any inmate at any jail, prison, or other correctional facility.

Date Posted: 6/4/2012 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2011
Posts: 634
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I am not sure where the person is in prison but there are several groups who can assist you I believe with what you are trying   When I was on another book trading site (bookmooch), this group was a charity I donated points to in the past.  You may want to research them.



Date Posted: 6/4/2012 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,220
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You cannot request books from another swapper on PBS and have them sent directly to him at an address in a prison. You would need to request the books sent to yourself and then resend them, which it sounds like would not work with that prison. 

Changing your address to PBS's wouldn't change where they were coming from in a Boxing situation since your return address wouldn't show anywhere on a requested item, the books would still be coming from the other swapper and their personal address would be showing. Which is one of the reasons PBS doesn't allow people to direct packages to prisons.

Date Posted: 6/4/2012 4:21 PM ET
Member Since: 2/7/2012
Posts: 62
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I used to work in a book  store and we had to ship  to the prison directly.     One  sad  fact was that  after people paid  for the books and we shipped them  we often had  the family  member call and say the person never received the  books.  I  don't know  if they  disappeared in the mail  room   but it was probably   a 50%    success rate.      Good luck .   It  is also  pretty difficult to donate to prison  libraries.  

Date Posted: 6/4/2012 4:54 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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PBS would not count as a store, and would most likely be returned or thrown out. Lovely thought but the only way most prisons that have those rules accept books is from stores they recognise. So amazon,target, walmart, barnes and noble etc.   Maybe you can find a few cheap books on amazon and send them to him.

Date Posted: 6/4/2012 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2007
Posts: 5,975
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You can try your local stores. Pick out some books at a new or used bookstore and ask if they'll mail them if you pay for the postage. I've seen that work before.

I've also seen where prisons will only take books classified as "religious". You might want to check into that first.

Last Edited on: 6/4/12 5:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/4/2012 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2007
Posts: 115
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Thanks for the info - I sort of guessed that I couldn't do this.  Just trying to be a nice step-mom even though the guy made a stupid choice and ended up in prison. I have never known anyone personally before that went to prison so new experience all the way round.  Thanks, everyone, for the help. I can always count on this forum to help me out! :)

Date Posted: 6/4/2012 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,394
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I'm not sure, but you might want to check into seeing if books bought through the PBS Market would count as store purchases or be allowed.  I know they come from a book warehouse, but it's been forever since I ordered so unsure about the packaging/business name.  Or, you can find books you are interested in on here, then click through the links to purchase them from Amazon.com.

Date Posted: 6/4/2012 11:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2011
Posts: 2,958
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Aren't a lot of the sellers on Amazon just people selling their own used books? I think you'd have to be careful to order books that say "fulfilled by Amazon" so it would come in the Amazon box.

Subject: Disappearing books
Date Posted: 6/5/2012 11:27 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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Like Diane, I used to work in a used book store that would send books purchased there to prisoners if a family member of the prisoner paid for the shipping in advance. We also had the problem of book packages never arriving. There's a prison west of town whose librarian used to shop at the store , and it turns out that regulations for what books prisoners are allowed to have are very strict (and not easily guessable by civilians), and may even vary from one prison to another. So that may be why so many packges are never received - once the prison has opened the package to see whether the books are in acceptable categories, if they're not, the box can no longer be marked Return to Sender and put back in the mail for free return to whoever mailed it. So we figured that quite a lot of the books sent with good intentions either wound up in the trash or went home with guards. One guy was having Will and Ariel Durant's History of Civilization volumes sent to him one by one, and then partway through the series, one disappeared, so the family decided a different book-checker had taken exception to the series and decided not to risk sending more.

Last Edited on: 6/5/12 11:29 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/5/2012 1:08 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 626
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I would be curious to know what happens to the books that disappear at the prisons.

Date Posted: 6/5/2012 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2012
Posts: 127
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I checked the Federal Bureau of Prisons website and found the policy on incoming publications.

It's rather lengthy, but if you go to  http://www.bop.gov/DataSource/execute/dsPolicyLoc then scroll down to 5266.10 Incoming Publications,

 you will be able to read all the stipulations on incoming reading material accepted.

Date Posted: 6/5/2012 5:27 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 10,059
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our local jail is the charity recipient of all my FOL's castoff books. any topic is allowed, but some of us volunteers hesitate to give them certain books, yep, censorship! anyway, we had to box them up and a rep from the jail would pick up the boxes weekly. then the jail librarian had to go thru them all again before shelving them for the prisoners.