"I think they get together and they go over each others' notes," Brandt said. "They'll say 'tell her this' or 'send this.' "
Daignault started writing to Eric Ford, who is serving a 14-year armed robbery sentence, four years ago. They are scheduled to get married in a lunchroom at the prison in December, her third marriage and his second.
They have endured a stormy on-again, off-again engagement. Daignault said she and Ford, 27, argue frequently about everything from her not visiting enough to her hairstyle. She said her fiance also tends to do bizarre things such as claim he has brain cancer in an attempt to get money and sympathy.
"I believe I'm going to have to be hard on him," she said. "I don't think he has a motivational bone in his body."
Ford, who said in a telephone interview that he might dump Daignault for a Bakersfield woman--and then a week later denied it--said he thinks Daignault is being a bit harsh on him.
"I have never lied to her," he said during an interview at the jail. "Well, OK, I have, but I've always told her the truth afterwards."
Each of the 1,000 to 1,500 pieces of mail that arrive daily at the Lancaster prison is inspected by correctional officers to make sure nothing included is illegal, such as child pornography, said prison spokesman Dean Crenshaw. Otherwise, he said, sexual content is not censored.
"We're looking for anything that would stand out in a letter, like assaulting or killing somebody," Crenshaw said. "We also look to see if there's any mention of drugs, escape, or any letter that would look like it's in code of some kind."
Meachel Daignault said she will send her fiance $5 to $10 every few months, but that's all. "Eric has asked me for a TV set, a radio and tennis shoes," she said. "I'm like 'Screw you, buddy. You got yourself in there. Buy your own TV set.' "