THE PRISON STORE

American Survival Guide - - LESSONS FROM THE INSIDE -

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.

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