What Is Inmate Commissary?


Quick Answer

A commissary is a prison store where inmates purchase certain products not provided automatically by the prison system, explains InmateAid. Specific products available for purchase vary from prison to prison but typically include items such as snacks, sodas, over-the-counter medication, personal hygiene products, stamps and writing supplies.

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Full Answer

All medically able inmates are required to work and can earn anywhere from 12 to 40 cents per hour in federal prisons, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. These wages, as well as money sent to them by family and friends, can be spent in the commissary. Inmates purchase products by filling out and submitting an order form on their assigned day, explains the Department of Corrections for Washington State.

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