October 22, 2014

Shopping Day in Federal Prison

I have never been much of a shopper. I did not care for trips to the Mall or the grocery Store. However, after arriving in prison, I have a new found appreciation for shopping. You are allowed to shop only one day each week in prison at the commissary. Since I arrived after my scheduled shopping day I had to wait four days to shop. You fill out a form, submit it to the commissary clerk and wait for them to assemble your order. You can spend a maximum of $ 160.00 every two weeks from your account. You fund your own account from family and friends. Also, if I get a job, my pay (12 cents an hour ) is deposited directly into my account. I truly appreciated being able to purchase things like a drinking cup, paper ,pens, dental floss, tooth paste, gym shorts and toilet paper. My big purchase was a Sony walkman radio which allows me to listen to the news and also to listen to the television sets as the television sound is set to a radio station. I have also ordered tennis shoes for running but I cannot purchase them until November 1 as I have spent my maximum allotment. (walking the track in prison issued work boots does not cut it).

I will never again take for granted the ability to go shopping when you want to purchase the basic necessities for everyday living. I think I am beginning to sound like a broken record but it does not take much time in prison to realize all of the things you failed to appreciate in the outside world.

I am taking advantage of a free prison service later today, a haircut! I suspect it may not be up to my former barber’s standards! Then again, I do not think my fellow inmates care what my hair looks like?

Ken Flaska

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