Originally published on AUG. 4, 2018 by David Reutter published in Prison Legal News August, 2018, page 1 by David M. Reutter

Excerpt from full article …

In early July 2017, a group of women incarcerated at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Perryville collectively boycotted commissary purchases. The organized action began after the Arizona Department of Corrections hiked prices on various commissary items provided by Keefe Commissary Network, ranging from tampons and shoelaces to granola bars and soap.

The prisoners released a statement expressing their frustration over the increased prices. “We get one roll of toilet paper per week and 12 pads a month. Everything else comes out of our pockets, including [non-cafeteria] food. We make between $0.10-$0.45 an hour. 20 percent of our wages go to restitution and we get charged $2 a month for electricity,” they wrote. “With so little, we already struggle to make ends meet – often being left to choose between buying a bar of soap, which is now $1.50, or making a phone call home at $0.20 a minute. Now we’re expected to pay 70 percent more for staple items, like peanut butter.” During the boycott, prisoners bought only a single $0.06 toothbrush.

The Arizona Department of Corrections receives a 16 percent commission kickback from Keefe, which generated $6.3 million in 2016. A prison spokesman noted that only 268 commissary items out of 1,000 had increased in price, while another 222 decreased.

Read the full article here: https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2018/aug/4/prison-food-and-commissary-services-recipe-disaster/