Have you been put in jail recently? If so, you’re going to need to learn more about the jail commissary system.

In jail, you’re only allowed to receive certain types of items. The prison is concerned that you or the other inmates may use certain items as weapons. There’s also the concern that you may use or smuggle certain items to make drugs.

In other words, the commissary has to sell you certain items so you don’t get mad or frustrated. You’re not allowed to bring anything in, nor can you purchase anything outside of the commissary, except when you have a week pass.

The commissary selection isn’t great, to begin with. This makes a jail commissary even less appealing. That’s why we prefer to ship you affordable gifts from the outside.

Learn more about the jail commissary in our guide below.

Jail Commissary: Definition

A jail commissary is a store or supply room located inside a jail or prison that is run by the correctional facility. It allows inmates to purchase items they need while they are incarcerated. Oftentimes, inmates do not have access to the same resources as those on the outside, so the commissary allows them to purchase basic items with their own money.

How Does a Jail Commissary Work?

Inmates may buy items with money they have been allowed to bring with them into jail and earnings from jobs they are allowed to do while in jail. Some are also provided to them by friends and family members outside of the facility.

The payouts made to the inmate are kept in an account for the inmate’s use at the commissary. Inmate search is available for those who want to send money to an inmate.

Jail commissaries typically operate on a credit-based system, meaning inmates must keep track of the items they purchase and their prices to avoid running out of credit and facing additional charges. Ultimately, jail commissaries allow inmates to supplement the limited resources they are provided with while in jail.

Products Available in Jail Commissaries: Examples and Restrictions

Jail commissaries provide inmates with a variety of products, but these products have restrictions on what can be purchased. Generally, inmates are only allowed to buy food items, hygiene items, and writing supplies.

Some jails also provide items such as books, magazines, movies, and music. There are also restrictions on the number of items inmates can buy at one time.

Other items, such as tobacco and alcohol, are absolutely prohibited in jail commissaries. Inmates may also be restricted from buying certain items, such as clothing, depending on their security level.

Benefits and Limitations of Jail Commissaries

Jail commissaries can help improve physical, mental, and emotional well-being and the overall prison atmosphere. However, while having access to commissary items has its benefits, there are some limitations. Price gouging can occur, with items being sold for higher than retail prices.

Inmates may also purchase items that are banned from correctional facilities and use them to commit criminal offenses, such as money laundering. Commissary products could also be used to influence other inmates or be exchanged for drugs or other substances.

Understanding Jail Commissary

A jail commissary is a convenient and secure way for inmates to purchase basic necessities and comfort items. Inmates are responsible for buying necessities such as food, hygiene, and correspondence products.

With the correct safety protocols in place, families and friends can purchase items for their loved ones in jail.

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