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Frequenty Asked Questions

  • What is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization?

A 501(c)(3) organization is a corporation, trust, unincorporated association, or other type of organization that is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the United States Code. It is the most common type of the 29 types of 501(c) nonprofit organizations in the United States. Many charitable non-profits in the United States that Americans commonly know of, and often make donations to, are 501(c)(3) organizations. 501(c)(3) tax-exemptions apply to entities that are organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes, or for testing for public safety, or to foster national international amateur sports competition, or for the prevention of cruelty to children, women, or animals.

  • In what category is Remain in Touch tax exempt?

Remain in Touch is a literacy program.

  • Is my donation tax exempt?

Yes, letters of acknowledgement are sent to everyone who gives a gift of any kind to the Remain in Touch program. If the donation is monetary, the letter will specify the specific dollar amount and it serves as valid verification of a personal income tax exemption for the IRS. If the donation is an item (such as books, CDs, services, etc.) the letter must be accompanied by a personal receipt to be considered a valid personal tax exemption by the IRS.

  • What is the difference between a jail and a prison?

A jail is a secure facility that houses three main types of inmates:  people who have been arrested and are being held pending a plea agreement, trial, or sentencing; people who have been convicted of a misdemeanor criminal offense and are serving a sentence of (typically) less than 1 year; and people who have been sentenced to prison and are about to be transferred to another facility. Jails are operated by a county or city government. Jails are also known as detention facilities. Lockups are facilities in smaller communities where one to a few arrestees can be held for a short time pending transfer to a nearby jail/detention center.

A lot of new detainees are delivered to jails daily. Some may stay less than one day or only for a few days, until they are okayed for release in a court proceeding. Some are released after putting up bail, are released to a pretrial services caseload, are placed under supervision by a probation agency, or are released on their own recognizance with an agreement to appear in court.

A considerable number of people arriving at a jail are actively or recently drunk or high, arrive with injuries from fights/assaults that led to their arrest, and/or are mentally ill with no other place for law enforcement to deliver them. This makes the intake process challenging for the jail’s staff and its medical personnel.

A prison is a secure facility that houses people who have been convicted of a felony criminal offense and are serving a sentence of (typically) 1 year or more. Prisons are operated by a state government or the federal government. “Penitentiary” is a synonym for prison. The number of sentenced inmates entering prisons each day is far less than the number of people delivered at the door of U.S. jails. People who are going to prison know it in advance. They may be transferred from a jail, taken to prison from court after a conviction, or report to prison on a date set by the court. People released from prison may be released to parole supervision or to some other type of community program. Or they may be released with no supervision at all, if they have served their full term in prison.

  • What is work release?

Work release is that portion of the Community Release Program that allows selected inmates to work at paid employment in the community during the last months of their confinement. Inmates must return to the Department custody at the end of each work day.


  • What is a PPO? 

PPO is an abbreviation for Personal Protection Order. A PPO is an order from the court to restrict contact with a person to protect that person from harassment, assault, beating, molestation, wounding or stalking. It can be for both adults and children. This is often ordered by the court in domestic violence, molestation, and /or stalking. It does not, however, require a conviction. An individual may fill out a form and petition the court for this PPO restriction if, for example, they are being harassed or stalked.

  • Why do you require new books?

For security reasons the jails require all books to be new. In addition to that these books are a gift to the child from the incarcerated parent. A used book does not have quite the same “gift” value as a new book with a CD recording of the parent reading to them.

  • What is the total cost of each book mailed?

The average cost of one book with recorded CD, packaging and postage is $12.71.

  • Why are there security checks for new books each time they are brought into the jail?

This is a security measure to assure no contraband is hidden inside the books.

  • How do you know the child has a way to play the CD?

Thus far, this has never been an obstacle. You can play CDs on both desktop and laptop computers, in the car, and on CD players which are readily available at Best Buy or Toys R Us.

  • Are you ever afraid?

No. Our facilitators are on camera at all times in the jail. It is very secure.

  • Why do you not seek funds from large organizations like the United Way?

The United Way and similar sources are able to help fund non-profits with very large budgets and needs. Our needs can easily be met from local sources. In addition, the PR by doing so is to our advantage for soliciting personal donations.

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