A commissary at a prison or jail is simply a
store where inmates may shop for items that are not available through the
normal allocation of supplies and meals.
The commissary is a privilege bestowed on inmates that permits shopping
once a week on a limited spending budget.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons currently caps spending at $310 per month,
whereas county and state jails usually adhere to a $50 - $75 per week
Inmates must have money in their “inmate trust
account” to purchase the available items.
Inmates may receive money from the job that they hold in the prison or
receive deposits from friends and family through a number of approved money transfer companies. The money sent through InmateAid’s
website relationship with Western Union are cleared good funds with an hour of the same day. Other competing methods of sending money to inmates may
take days or weeks for the funds to clear.
The commissary offers hundreds of items
inmate to choose from that surprisingly are NOT given to inmates by the
various institutions which include health and well-being supplies
first aid, aspirin or ibuprofen ALL of which are not counted against
your month spending limit), personal hygiene (soap, shampoo, toothpaste,
deodorant, etc.), grooming, AM/FM radio with ear buds, writing
postage stamps, a wide array of food that comes in store-able Mylar foil
choices of quality tuna, mackerel, salmon, chicken and beef. Also, there are many things to help prepare
meals with like a selection of spices, condiments, crackers, chips, cookies,
candy and even ice cream. You can also buy cans of
soda, tea bags and instant coffee. The
commissary offers storage containers, bowls, cups, coolers to use the food
you’ve bought. There are also clothing selections for exercising like sweat
shirts and pants, tank tops, short, socks and sneakers. You may find several types of work boots available, which
are much better quality that the standard issue which makes walking around more comfortable.
This section has relevant other content to answer any
question you may have regarding the prison commissary and the “black market”
culture where inmate-to-inmate services
are paid for with these items. If you
are unable to find certain information, don’t hesitate to use the “Ask the Inmate” box and receive an answer from a former inmate immediately…all for FREE.
By Ily Goyanes
Thu., Jan. 13 2011There may be a new way to deter crime. Apparently honey buns (yes, those
gooey, sticky, doughy sponges covered in cellophane) are more popular
with Florida prisoners than cigarettes and Coca-Cola.Florida inmates buy about 270,000 honey buns
per month. Fights have broken out and…
Inmates at the Charles B. Webster Dentention Center unload a shipment of items ordered from the commissary, which sells food and necessities.By Steve Crawford
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Sheriff’s Sgt. Matt Tindell observed as jail inmates stacked
bright blue storage containers on orange carts – 12 to a cart –…
A reader asked a good question about today’s
story on the Ramen noodle craze at the Harris County jail.
The story reported that inmates
purchased more than 3 million noodle packs last year, but also detailed how
inmates buy other food, clothes and personal hygiene items when they’re serving
By Frank Green - The Richmond Times DispatchMonday, Nov. 19, 2007Dalvert
Gilchrist stuffed two tote sacks with bags of chips, Ramen noodles and other
goodies purchased from the prison commissary this month. Stepping back from a
pickup window, the James River Correctional Center inmate said he spends $20 to
TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 2011
One of the
things I did not consider when I went to prison was that I would no
longer get coffee. Of course, this was the least of my worries as I
was readying myself to surrender, but having had significant amounts of coffee
Mar 17, 2008
By now you
are probably wondering what is prison commissary? I am here to inform you what
it really is. This article will only take a few minutes out of your busy
schedule. All this information is true; I witnessed this in person.
Sale items spice up life at Rikers
By JEREMY OLSHAN
March 1, 2010
Customers at Rikers Island's commissary might get shanked -- but
they're never gouged.
The reasonable prices at snack bars at all the city's jails
account for the success of the commissary operation, where last year prisoners…
Prison and jail inmates earn cold, hard cash (a few cents per
hour) for the work they perform during their incarceration. They’re also
allowed to receive money from family and friends.
However, prisoners are never allowed to touch even a single
coin, so all cash received is placed into a…
Just because you're
behind bars doesn't mean you have to forgo your favorite snack foods and
electronics. Today the Post takes a look at some of the stuff for sale to prisoners on Rikers
Island, finding that the number one seller is Ramen, which can be had for 35
by Matt Stiles - April 8, 2010Inmates
serving time in Texas prisons can buy certain “free world” goods —
snacks, clothes, even cosmetics — provided that people outside unit
walls send them the money.It’s a bustling business. During the last fiscal year, inmates spent about $95 million at prison markets,…