How Family Care Packages Became Big Business For Prisons

open care packages
Tremain Prioleau II
January 25, 2024

Families once were able to send personalized gifts to their incarcerated relatives. Now, many correctional facilities have banned families from mailing packages in an effort to stop contraband in prisons. So who stepped in to address this need?

Unfortunately, private companies have taken the reins of gift giving for families of incarcerated people. Keefe Group is one of the largest corporate providers for prisoners' needs. Their services include a commissary network, phone services, and more. All of these incarceration essentials are now corporatized for big profits.

Care packages have become a lucrative industry for corporations to say the least. According to a 2014 contract proposal, Keefe Group reported net sales of more than $375 million from care packages, commissary sales, and technology programs in 2012.

The most inhumane piece of this industry is the fact that it rips away any personalization and care that families used to put in care packages. Now, families shop from a catalog, picking prison-approved items to fill an impersonal box packaged and delivered by a corporation.

Care packages are just another money-making function in the prison industrial complex machine. Care packages may never be as personal as they once were, but together, we can come up with ways to still give our incarcerated relatives a piece of home.

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