The war and the pandemic have finally reached the prison commissary… we’ve been out of stock on a lot of stuff, long and short term, throughout this, but they just hiked up our prices astronomically two days ago.

To name a few… one 3 oz bag of prison brand freeze dried coffee went from $3.62 to $5.21. I drink Maxwell instant coffee, 8 oz bag, which was $8.45, now $10.01. A bag of instant powdered milk was $3.56, now its $6.71. One bar of prison brand generic AF soap went from 60¢ to 85¢. And the list goes on… and as you know as prisoners we live off of donations from friends and family, when they can, and prison pay… and that’s nothing to brag about.

My job as Unit Assistant, I do a lot, and I only make 84¢ a day. And the officers are only allowed to pay us 22 days a month, even if I work OT. Which, usually rounds out to less than $18 a month. And one 3.4 oz tube of Colgate just increased to over $4.50.

It’s crazy. And something most people are blind to, is they believe that the prison supplies us with all of our needs… which is not true. They give us two rolls of toilet tissue a week and 20 regular tampons a month… and we just started to get tampons two months ago again, because of a law our female Governor passed.

If you run out of tissue, you better buy your own, which they’ve made available for purchase in the commissary for $1.15 a roll. And no, its not Charmin. More like 1-ply biodegradable, possibly recycled paper. If you are an unfortunate person who is handicapped and cannot be employed for some reason and you have no family support, you can apply for indigence. And then they give you an indigent bag which has state soap that is 1″ wide by 2″ long – a yellow citrus smelling bar that isn’t even big enough to wash your body more than once.

Also, they get a few packets of something they call shampoo which is the size of a catsup packet, a state safety toothbrush, and state .5 oz tube of clear ‘Freshmint’ toothpaste that somehow actually makes your breath smell worse than before you brush them. Most people get them and use them as hair gel… it works better than the hair gel they sell in the store.

Oh, and you can forget the joke of a stick of deodorant they give them. It’s not even a full ounce stick… it looks like it’s made for a person the size of a newborn baby… and it’s also a clear sticky substance that is right in the same boat as the toothpaste, but making someone smell worse after using the product. It’s complete trash but prisoners, being people of little options, have found a better use for the deodorant as well… apparently, it works good when rubbed on skin. You can then transfer a tattoo drawing onto the skin when pressing the paper firmly against the deodorant latent skin. When you remove the paper the transfer is clear as day from paper to skin.

This place is a joke… makes me wonder where all the money they’re getting annually per prisoner is really going? Last time I checked it was $35,000 per person, every year. Plus, $5,000 for medical care… but we pay a $5 co-pay every time we need to see a nurse or dentist. Not to mention the fact that we can’t even see a doctor about an issue, unless you first see a nurse three times within 30 days. So, we have to pay $15 before we can even see a doctor.

More coming soon…