Jails and prisons are legally responsible for feeding inmates. This doesn’t mean the food tastes good or that there is enough to keep the inmate from getting hungry between meals. Four good reasons exist for putting money on an inmate’s books.
- Hunger – Commissary snacks can be purchased for inmates to eat in their cells. Chips, Ramen noodles, candy bars, nuts and sodas are commonly listed in addition to other products.
What’s on the menu in prison?
- Hygiene - Some jails or prisons don’t provide even the basics like toothpaste, or if they do, it is typically the cheapest, worst tasting brand. Better quality shampoo, body soap, toothpaste and shaving lotions are available through the store.
- Love – Inmates receive very little. Knowing someone cares enough to keep money on his nooks reminds him that he has not been forgotten.
- Safety – Debt is dangerous in jail and prison. Putting money on his books keeps him from borrowing food, paper, pencils etc from other inmates and then owing them in return.
Commissary funds might seem like a luxury to those outside the walls, but they are as extremely important to inmates. Even a small amount each week allows him to remain more independent during his incarceration .