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You need money for everything- to buy phone minutes, stamps, food, toiletries, clothing, shoes, and headphone. The dumbest little items that you do not even glance at twice in your home are more precious than gold in prison. Batteries. You need them to power your radio, watch and your alarm clock. A radio is such an essential item to make the time pass by in jail. It is ironic that most prisons are made of concrete and therefore the radios get bad reception. These radios are actual am/fm radios with headphones. Dan became a fan of NPR and other random talk shows, he would listen to them at night to fall asleep. Sometimes we would coordinate and I would to listen to the same station as I drove to visiting, and then we would talk about the songs we'd both just heard.
We worked out a system of him setting two times a day to call to check in. If I was ok, I would just say I love you over and over really quickly, or whatever I needed to tell him in the few seconds. Then he would hang up and do it again, sometimes a few times in a row. If I needed him to stay on the phone, I would say “pick up” and he would wait for me to press five. I hated pressing five unless it was a pre-designated pickup call because I knew that every minute literally counted. Moreover, that recorded bitch was stingy with minutes- go over by a second and you lost another minute, even if you hung up right away. We would both get frustrated if I veered from the "I love you" and he thought I needed him to pick up and we accidentally wasted precious minutes.
The first day I was sad thinking the line to get to the phones must have been really long and he was not able to call. The second day I started panicking and by the third day I was freaking out.
Then I got a letter in the mail.
Say what you will about the white collar guys- at least they are not violent- and that core difference really stood out to me at that moment. It remains with me, the unfairness of housing white collar and regular inmates together. It is a part of the broken system that needs fixing- white collar should be separate for obvious reasons. Even just using common sense- stop putting all the different types of criminals together because they all just talk about their specialties and teach each other and then you have actually contributed to the education and building of a better criminal!