Are county jails allowed to deny an inmate use of their commissary? Someone I know has been in jail for the past two months and he says he feels victimized by the guards within the jail. One week after getting the clear that he had received money on his commissary he was told he couldn't use it with no reason given as to why. The guards randomly withhold his mail, and when they decide to deliver it they choose to do so at odd hours in the night. Guards allow a group of people to get up in his face and push him around as they watch. They have even went as far as stealing his glasses before, and a guard has willingly opened his cell one day when he was out during his free time and allowed the same group of people to help himself to anything they wanted out of his commissary. He's tried to go to other guards asking for help, but they choose not to help him and threaten him to put him in solitary. I called up the jail asking to speak to the police chief, but I was put on the phone with someone else who was there at the time, and I voiced my concerns. The lieutenant seemed as if I was bothering him and said only stated "You know I have 300 inmates here right?". That doesn't seem like a valid reason for someone to be treated like this while being locked up. So if I work a McDonalds drive thru and I have 300 people in my line is it ok for me to not do my job?

Last Updated: November 15,2018
Ask the inmate answer
Inmates are basically the property of the jurisdiction they are held by and there is very little people on the outside can do to effectuate change on the inside. We have of course heard of stories similar to what you are referring to. But, we would caution you to not take everything your inmate says as 100% accurate. Inmates are notorious for currying favor from their loved ones with stories of abuse - amplifying your imagery of jail life. This causes you to want to send more money into their commissary, etc. You have to be careful to measure what they tell you and use good common sense. There might be some bullying that occurs especially in the beginning but this does not go on and on. Plus, corrections officers are not looking to get tagged with abuse stories on social media. But, if you are convinced there are serious issues occurring, you can start filing complaints with the warden, the chaplain and even your local councilman. The caution we would warn is that with all your outside pressure you might cause more pressure on your inmate - and that is not the result you are looking for. It is a slippery slope to be sure.

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