Sendapackage.com, prison's version of Amazon.com, offers New York's 50,000 inmates hundreds of items for purchase and delivery: soft drinks, cigarettes, canned ravioli, cotton hoodies and music on cassette tape, the only format that corrections regulations will allow, the New York Times reports. Sending packages to loved ones doing time can be a Kafkaesque process.
Beyond the hassle of going to several stores to assemble a package, and then having to take it to the post office or UPS, inmates must naviate many rules governing what is allowable. The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision publishes a 20-page list of who can send what, and how, and what is permitted and what is not. “I thought there had to be a better way,” said Chris Barrett, Sendapackage's founder, who got the idea in 2008 after his brother was sentenced to prison.