Monday, April 23, 2007

What's Wrong With This Picture?

I have a young friend, A (she was my Little Sister through Big Brothers/Big Sisters*). Due to a variety of circumstances, A is in county jail until mid-May. In order for her to write letters, she needs to have stamps and envelopes. Her mother (or I, for that matter) can't take her stamps and envelopes, they have to be purchased through the commissary, which is now online only.

On the one hand, it is nice that I can buy a few things for A, given that I don't live anywhere near her. On the other hand, it seems to me that the friends and family of those in this rural county jail are exactly the population who have been left on the wrong side of the digital divide. Most of them probably do not have computers or internet access at home, so they need to find the time and know-how (not to mention the non-maxed out credit card) to access the online store from somewhere else (like the public library). Seems like a lot to ask to me.

In addition to the stamps and envelopes, one can also buy a variety of care packages. One of these is called "Big Slammer". You know. For your loved one, who is in the slammer.

1 comment:

Valerie said...

sort of like the question from my son's econ. class: "Are the poor poor because the rich are rich. Or are the rich rich because the poor are poor."

Our culture isn't very helpful to those at the bottom of the heap, which ultimately ends up not being very helpful to our own culture.