THE PRISON STORE
Prisons have a store at which the inmates can buy food and other goods. These stores are monopolies in the prison, and they can typically operate at a lower cost than a store on the outside, with shipments made directly to the prison. Yet, the prices do not typically reflect that. The prices are generally on par with outside prices (or higher). An average inmate will spend $947 annually to buy food and other goods at these stores. Contrast that with the average prison income— assuming one has a prison job—of earning $180 to $660 a year doing food service or custodial jobs. This means that the money comes from friends and family. This $947 breaks down as follows: about $585 spent on food and beverages, about $89 spent on hygiene products and only about $35 spent on clothing.