A Black Friday Shopping Spree — in Prison!

What to buy when you’re inside.

November 29th, 2019

By Richard Bronson

The day after Thanksgiving has been tagged Black Friday — a day when companies like Amazon and Walmart slash prices on a wide range of merchandise. The public eagerly awaits this day to stock up on every-day goods as well as Christmas presents.

For those in prison, there are few retail outlets available. Inmates are generally prohibited from buying on-line merchandise, with the exception of books and magazines.

Instead, they get their retail fix by purchasing items from the prison’s commissary. The commissary carries a wide range of merchandise, from toothpaste and sneakers to bags of tuna fish and black beans.

Most of the merchandise is off-brand and of dubious quality. It is all vastly over-priced. Prison systems maintain close relationships with companies that provide this merchandise.

The good news for inmate shoppers is that the merchandise is immediately available: after submitting an order form, the merchandise is passed through a caged window. The ultimate Prime membership! Inmates typically then pack their goods into their mesh laundry satchel, and return to their cells to stow their goods. Very festive.

— Richard Bronson, Founder/CEO

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