NO HUMAN INVOLVED
When some one is locked up, we on the outside may start to lose contact with them because the barriers to communication are so great. Letters are returned, phone systems broken, sometimes we don't know where are loved ones are at all. The institutions can keep meticulous records, however, and from these pages we get echoes of the humanity trapped behind these walls.
July 1995, report from a CSO at Perryville Prison
Subject: IM Powell 1094416 Missing Store
On the above date and approximate time I was sitting at the picnic table with [an inmate] when she told me that IM Powell had shopped today and had bought "one case of soda and almost a full net bag of food." She then explained that Powell had given all of it away to various people... I went to Powell's room and asked her if she had shopped today. She confirmed that she indeed had bought the case of soda and an almost full net bag of food. When asked what was left of her purchase all she had was one jar of peanut butter. All the rest had been given away. She claimed she owed a small amount to other inmates and the rest she gave away or was asked for it. She did not think it was strange not to have anything left because she had "made a lot of people happy."