We received a letter from Marie Mason recently with updates. As we said before, she expects to be at Waseca for a while.
She has been assigned a job working in the kitchen (unfortunately not, originally as she was told, as a guitar instructor). She is working out and getting most of her vegan dietary concerns taken care of.
She would like to receive the following kinds of books: a calendar, a journal, language books (especially French and Spanish, which she speaks to fellow inmates), fiction, or radical history. She also is allowed to allowed to check a guitar from the rec center and wants guitar sheet music – especially “labor/folk/earth first!” songs. There is a library at the prison which she is able to use as well.
That said, we are not sure what kind political literature will be allowed in. Obviously, please do NOT send anything that advocates any illegal acts, as this may impact her negatively.
We called Waseca and confirmed that individuals can send in softcover books, including used ones. No hardcover books are allowed. Magazines and newspapers must come directly from a publisher.
Please do not send stamps or stamped envelopes to her – the prison confiscates them.
I received some requests for clarification, and this is what Waseca says:
* she can have up to 25 pictures at one time in her cell, but no polaroids. (One person said the prison was rejecting envelopes with more than two pictures in them, however.)
* she can have up to five books in her cell
* there is no limit on photocopies – but you can’t send them in a cardboard box (which requires prior approval), it must be in an envelope
* clippings from magazines, etc. are accepted, but in limited quantities – i was told a manila envelope stuffed with them would be returned
* nothing with sexually explicit content
Envelopes must have a return address on them, and since the prisons sometimes throw away the envelopes and give the prisoner only the letter, you should also put your address and the date on the letter itself.
As far as the political content, we’re not sure yet. With the other prisoners, letters have been rejected that refer to other imprisoned Green Scare cases.
Also, what’s allowed in federal prisons is notoriously inconsistent, so one person in the mail room might simply reject what another accepts.
Email us if you mail anything in that is sent back.
She is slower in writing back these days then when she was at Clinton County Jail, and some of this may have to do with the delay in the federal system with getting funds to her commissary to buy stamps. But she loves receiving letters and please continue to write her:
Marie Mason #04672-061
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 1731
Waseca, MN 56093