By Mike Enemigo
Resource 1: a source of supply or support 2: available funds 3: a possibility of relief or recovery 4: a means of spending leisure time 5: the ability to meet and handle situations 6: something to which one has recourse in difficulty.
Despite being sentenced to Life in 2002, I stay trying to make something happen –whatever it may be. I’ve never been one to let things — even prison walls, steel bars and razor wire — stop me from doing what I set out to do. And in order to be successful, I’ve had to build up a network of relationships and resources. After all, especially when trying to accomplish something from inside a prison cell, where you’re forced to rely on assistance from people on the outside, it’s all about networking, relationships, and resources.
During the time I’ve spent doing the various things I do and gathering up the much-needed resources, I’ve learned there are actually a lot of things prisoners have available to them and can do, that most just don’t know about. But with the proper information, some creativity (you must learn to think outside the box when you live in one) and determination, there are actually many, many things that can be done. And yes, right from inside your prison cell, too.
So, without further ado, though not in any particular order, allow me to share with you a few of my favorite prisoner resources…
Prison Legal News
PO Box 1151
Lake Worth, FL 33460
Prison Legal News (PLN) is a very reputable publication that reports on legal cases and news stories related to prisoner rights and prison conditions of confinement. It’s a 72-page, black and white monthly publication. Prisoners can get a yearly subscription for $30, and they will accept stamps as payment. PLN is a prisoner must-have for sure.
PO Box 10
Edgewater, FL 32132
If you’re looking to get a pen pal, I’d say WriteAPrisoner.com is the best site to be on. WAP claims to be the largest, highest ranked and most visited pen pal website for prisoners, and it’s probably true. I’ve been on WAP several times and have been successful. I know many other prisoners who have, too. It’s now$50 for the first year, and $40 for each renewal year. This fee allows you to post up to 250 words and one picture. You can add additional words, pictures, poems, drawings, etc. for additional fees. They’ll allow you to pay with stamps if you request their stamp guidelines.
PO Box 100971
Brooklyn, NY 11210
Kite is a newer for-prisoner magazine, but the folks over at Kite ain’tplayin’ no games. It’s basically Instagram for prisoners. All the hot shit goin’ on on IG –who’s hot in the rap game, who the latest insta-thotties are, what the latest urban fashion is — Kite covers. Having a Kite subscription is mando for any prisoner who wants to stay up on all the latest goings-on on the outside. It’s a bi-monthly, full color, 72-page magazine. It’s $39.99 for a 3-issue subscription, $59.99 for 6 issues (1 year).
Jaden Moore of New York
309 Main St., Suite 1
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
If you’re tryna send gifts to your wife, pen pal, side-piece, mom, kids, etc., JMNY got you covered. They’re basically a “mall in a catalog” — a one-stop gift shop. They sell flowers, jewelry, stuffed animals, desserts, wine baskets, toys, you name it. They’ll send this stuff to your folks for any special occasion. They’ve been around for years, which is big when it comes to these prisoner-based companies, who often fizzle out rather quickly. Write JMNY and request their gift and/or jewelry catalog.
State Vs Us Magazine
PO Box 29291
Baltimore, MD 21213
State Vs Us is another must-have magazine for any prisoner. It’s a full-color “urban reality news” magazine that touches on all the important aspects of the incarcerated community. It’s $9.99 an issue, free shipping and handling for prisoners, and it comes out quarterly. Tap in immediately if you don’t wanna be lame.
PO Box 192
Dequincy, LA 70633
If you’re lookin’ for non-nude photos at an affordable price, I’d have to say you should check out FIYA Girls. There are LOTS of these companies, but they come and go quickly, so it’s usually best to mess with one that’s been around awhile. FIYA Girls sells full color glossy catalogs full of thumbnail “hot shots” you can buy. The images are about as nude as you can get without actually being nude, feel me? Porn stars in crazy positions with fat toe — all that. I will say, the company address switches back and forth from LA to TX, so I suggest you send a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) to check before ever sending any money.
Midnight Express Books
PO Box 69
Berryville, AR 72616
I’d say MEB is the place to go if you’re trying to get help with publishing your book. They offer a variety of services from typing to cover design, formatting and more. They’ve been around for several years and I’ve never heard anything bad about them.
Adams State University
208 Edgemont Blvd., Suite 3000
Alamosa, CO 81101
If you’re lookin’ to expand your education, ASU might be the way to go. They offer undergrad correspondence courses for $220 per credit hour, and master’s level for $350 per credit hour. And they have GOOD courses available, too. They are regional accredited, so their credits should transfer to most colleges and universities in the U.S. However, depending on what prison you’re in, you may be able to take advantage of certain free higher-education opportunities, so you may want to look into that first. In any case, educate yourself!
PO Box 1941
Buford, GA 30515
Tightwad sells magazine subscriptions for the low! You ain’tgonna get the urban mags like Kite or State vs. Us, but if you’re looking for the “mainstream” mags like Entrepreneur, Men’s Fitness, GQ, Esquire, etc., get them from Tightwad. The lady who runs it, Julie, is superfast and her business is official. You can get a bunch of bundle deals, like “5 subscriptions for $25,” too, and she accepts stamps. (PS: A stack of old issues makes for a great weight bag.)
The Cell Block
PO Box 1025
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741
Last, but definitely not least, The Cell Block provides the BEST prisoner-info and Street Lit books for prisoners, hands down. With titles like, The Art & Power of Letter Writing For Prisoners Deluxe Edition; Get Out, Get Rich: How To Get Paid LEGALLY When You Get Out of Prison; Pretty Girls Love Bad Boys: The Prisoner’s Guide to Getting Girls; andThe BESTResource Directory For Prisoners, which contains over 1,400 prisoner resources like the ones in this article; and much, much more. Tap in immediately!
The BEST Resource Directory For Prisoners has over 1,400 resources for prisoners, including: pen pal companies; non-nude photo sellers; legal assistants; free books and other publications; prisoner advocates; pro bono attorneys; money-making opportunities; resources for prison writers, poets, artists, and much, much more! Anything you can think of doing from your prison cell, this book has the resources to do it! Send ONLY $17.95 plus $7.00 shipping and handling to The Cell Block, or have your loved one’s order on thecellblock.net or Amazon today!
Author Mike Enemigo is a successful “prisonpreneur” who turned his dirty hustle clean. He is the founder and executive publisher of The Cell Block — a company that publishes only works created in a prison cell. So far he’s published over 25 prisoner-info and street-lit books and has many more on the way.