[OT] My first catalog request from Death Row
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  1. #1

    [OT] My first catalog request from Death Row

    Yes, you read it correct. I received my first catalog request from a Death Row inmate! Check this out:
    It gets quite boring here on Death Row. Ha ha! So some of us here got ourselves involved in a D&D game...
    Of course this leaves me to pondering how to run a prison D&D game much less a Death Row Prison D&D Game.
    Can they have dice?
    Can they even have the books?
    Is the idea of hardcore prisoners playing RPGs a good thing or a bad thing?
    I've seen prisoners get internet access. Do you think any of them could make it to here?

    I guess it's good to know if I ever get locked up I could possibly impress the inmates with my RPG knowledge and roleplaying talent.

    I'm dying (no pun intended) to see your responses to this one!

    ~Derek

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    I wonder what the alignment the PCs in his group are...

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    With the size of the membership here, I wouldn't be at all surprised if there are inmate members. As for what they can have, I suspect that it varies from prison to prison, but the inmate in question probably wouldn't be looking to get stuff if he's just going to get it taken away as soon as he gets it... Dice are probably ok too; at least, I can't think of any way to kill someone with a d20...

    You know what? This is a very strange topic and I'm going to stop contemplating it now.

  4. #4
    Ah finally a post I can answer here with knowledge from my day (well, night rather) job. Some here already know I am a Correctional Officer, so I am serving time, but only 8 hours a day.

    Derek, there really is no short answer as to what type of property inmates are allowed to have as it varies from prison to prison, state to state, administration to administration. Here is what I have seen.

    When I worked at a low (mostly fraud, and drug trafficking) security level prison back in NJ, inmates were only allowed to have dice for the immeadiate game they were playing. Meaning, the recreation dept. buys games like Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit. When the inmate checks out the game, sort of like checking out library books, they are responsible for it. When they return the game it is checked to see if the dice are present. So here is the problem the gaming inmates ran into. They had to talk the Rec. Dept into buying polyhedron dice for use with D&D, (which they were able to get authorized) but had to follow the same procedures as above. In the meantime, they made this spinner out of cardboard, a staple and a pencil. The spinner had successive circles, labeled for the d4, d6, d8 etc all the way to the last ring, d100. It was a pretty ingenious idea.

    Anyway I am making my rounds and I found these guys in the large community bathroom with a table playing D&D. I stood and watched them for a few minutes then moved on. They were really into it.

    Now, I work at a maximum security penn (murderers and such). NO DICE ANYWHERE! Period. The only thing the have in hobby shop is, ORIGAMI!

    So the short answer is, it depends where they are at as to what they can have. Our inmates can get the rule books, but they must come DIRECTLY from the publisher.

  5. #5
    Couldn't they use a electronic dice generator or perhaps a programable calculator to simulate dice. I know I would prefer the real thing, but I guess these guys could live with it.

  6. #6
    i recently sent a letter to a person on death row in arkansas. (don't ask) and here is a direct quoted bit about what is allowed to be mailed to him.


    Other unacceptable items are hardback photos, negatives, photos larger than 8' x 10', and Polaroid photos. No photograph frames. Nothing made out of construction paper. Regular white 20 LB bond in a regular white envelope is ideal. Plastic is not allowed. CDs, videos and cassettes are not allowed. Books and magazines must come from a publisher or vendor -- he has the most luck with Amazon.com. No padded envelopes, laminated items, stickers or glued items. No trading cards. Items depicting gangs (or hand signs), weapons, drugs, fighting techniques or unlawful activity are not allowed. Pictures, drawings, magazines or books depicting Satanic rituals, symbols or images are not allowed. Nothing that appears 'coded' is allowed. Clothing and other cloth items are not permitted. No jewelry, pens, pencils, or other property. No cash. Anything sent that cannot be examined without being destroyed is not allowed. No homemade items. Anything that is an unknown substance is not allowed. He is only allowed to keep a few magazines at a time for one month after the cover date. He is only allowed to keep a total of five photographs in his cell at any one time. He is not allowed to have posters or fold-out pictures. Stories or scripts bound with brass brads are not allowed. Also, anything printed that is about, or depicts the case that he is involved with will likely be rejected

  7. #7

    attention wsmith

    judging by your location, central california, and you saying you work at a maximum security place i was wondering if it is san quentan or folsom?

  8. #8
    Originally posted by WSmith

    Now, I work at a maximum security penn (murderers and such). NO DICE ANYWHERE! Period. The only thing the have in hobby shop is, ORIGAMI!

    So the short answer is, it depends where they are at as to what they can have. Our inmates can get the rule books, but they must come DIRECTLY from the publisher.
    I roll my origami D20 and it's a threat! I do like the concept of the spinner though.

    I knew someone had mentioned they worked as a Correctional Officer but I couldn't remember who. Thanks for the info!

    I guess I need to write him back and see what he can have and can't have. The bad thing about Texas is they really put you to death here when you're on D/R. I honestly don't know if I could handle knowing a customer of mine's days are numbered ticking like a clock.

    It just seems weird that people on death row are actually playing D&D to pass the time. Joking aside how bizarre would it be to have a player gone from the game because he was actually put to death much less all of the players? It's just so surreal.

    ~D

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    eXodus, that was a sad list of things... are you sure they didn't ban envolopes? You can cut yourself quite badly with one of those, and paper cuts smart...

    Sorry guys, I'm just against the death sentence, I don't understand why so many states keep using it, even when it has been proved to be more expensive than a life sentence.

  10. #10
    Originally posted by eXodus
    i recently sent a letter to a person on death row in arkansas. (don't ask) and here is a direct quoted bit about what is allowed to be mailed to him.


    Items depicting... weapons... fighting techniques or unlawful activity are not allowed. Pictures, drawings, magazines or books depicting Satanic rituals, symbols or images are not allowed.
    So no D&D books.

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