Friday, December 10, 2010

[Censored Mail] Happy Belated Birthday Wapoo!

I'd just like to take a moment to thank the fine staff at South Central Correctional Facility in Clifton, TN for returning my fine art prints to me instead of hucking them in the trash.  I can say that I am indebted to The Tennessee Department of Corrections for a little over two bucks.  The same envelope I shipped them to my friend in for his birthday was used to return them, with only two pieces of scotch tape holding the prints inside (I do bag my prints for shipping so this helped.)  Their safe passage is a true testament to our postal system and the job they do, getting them home to me safely, despite being exposed to the elements.
So apparently my artwork is too heinous and/or inappropriate for the inside of a medium security prison cell.  Art is healing and human expression.  My intention surely wasn't to hinder my friend's reformation or to any way infringe upon the diligent and heartwarming service I'm certain this facility and it's employees are providing for him. 

Apparently playing cards, Hunter S. Thompson, Beer, and Satan are images detrimental to the recovery of a convict. 

Dear patron of the arts, who do you think?

I would say it's a freedom of speech / expression issue but a prisoner has no rights... 
Even on his birthday.  

They're waiting for you here on the outside man along with cards, amazing literature, beer, and a little more Hell to raise.  They didn't give you the two Happy Birthday letters from myself or Nick either... but words (and positive encouragement.) are dangerous you know.  Mine said "Keep your chin up." and Nick's said "Freedom is on the Way."



  1. I understand being upset at this system for sending back your art, which by the way is awesome! The stuff I sent wasn't bad either. But what the hell can we do? I just hope/pray/wish he comes home soon. He knows you tried and trust me, he appreciates it!!
    It will all work out in the end!

  2. Hey, he's a tough one... he's fine. I thought it was kinda funny and sad at the same time. It's just kind of weird they told him about it and that he couldn't have the art but they wouldn't even give him the notes either.

  3. Ryan DistelrathDecember 11, 2010

    Doesn't surprise me. When I was serving my 9 month stint for selling acid, they wouldn't allow me to receive RELIGIOUS PAMPHLETS from a well-wishing neighbor!!! I would pay money to see what they are allowed to "censor" you from.

  4. Capitalism at its finest! If an inmate gets anything with a positive message, it may just help them "reform" and not give the prison that repeat business. We stick with a medieval system that locks the law-breaker up in a cage, so he has plenty of time to stew and build up his disdain for society. The perfect formula to ensure when he's let loose, the first thing he'll do is something extreme and possibly violent or illegal. Privatized systems make a fortune exploiting their target demographic.


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