Ponderings from the Eternal Now

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by Sr. Carol Gilbert, O.P.
Alderson Federal Prison,WV
As I wait for my medical clearance before I begin my
“landscaping” job, I thought you might be interested in
the costs of life here at Alderson:
1. Issued one pair of steel-toed shoes (men’s)
Shower thongs – $1
Tennis shoes – $50-70
Boots – $70 and up (special order)
2. No lock is provided for our small lockers. Stealing is
Cost of lock – $7
3. Issued one thin cap and garden gloves OR wool green
army mittens with thumb & trigger finger
Hat, gloves, scarf – $20
4. Issued one pair of men’s long underwear
Long tops – $8
Long bottoms – $5
(both men’s)
5. 24 over the counter meds are sold. This is where you
are sent to treat yourself.
Yeast infection medication – $13
6. Grey sweat-shirts and sweat-pants are allowed after
4:00 p.m. and on weekends.
Cost – $14.20 each
7. Fruit and fruit juices are sold weekly for those who
can afford them
8. Fans, alarm clocks, watches, and typewriter ribbon all
must be purchased.
9. Only issued clothing is done in the main laundry. In
the housing units,
Wash – $.50, Dry – $.50, Laundry soap – $3-7.
10. And, of course, selling one’s body for pay is the last
resort for some of these women.
Excerpts from a letter dated October 2003, compiled by
Laura Stengrim

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