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>The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Reads my Mail!

>I received a letter from my Jailed Deaf Dad. But it was not his first submission for our joint project to write a book about his life. No, instead it was a letter I sent him returned by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice marked as contraband because it contained content that falls under “Traffic and Trading”. What?

I always knew they read my letters, but me? A trafficker? Are we not allowed to collaborate to write a book and get rich? Say it ain’t so! My dad has high hopes for this venture. Per his last letter: “I know that we will be happy and comfortable life on easy working and traveling lots.” So, I read the letter again to see how I fouled up.

And there it was in the first paragraph.

Back story: I purchased him envelopes and paper via He wrote to say he didn’t actually need envelopes and joked that since they come 500 envelopes to a box that “It sounds like make me write a letter every day for 500 days. Ha.” Apparently the TDCJ limits the number of envelopes you are allowed to have to 100 max per prisoner to prevent them from trafficking or gambling, so he had to get rid of them. Ever resourceful, he sold them for $3.00 per 100. The commissary sells them for $5.00 per 100. So he’s saving his fellow inmates $2.00 per 100 and making a tidy sum. He asked me “Are you mad and upset about them? =( “

In my allegedly illegal first paragraph in response, I told him, “I don’t care about the envelopes…they only cost me $4.00, so you are making a proift of $11 by selling them!!!” And, hence, my trafficking offense.

Luckily this means the book deal is still a go. I’ll just tell him the money making scheme in sign language during my visit to his Hunstville prison in December.