Prison Snack Sales Drop

Montgomery, AL – Snack sales in some prisons have dropped 60 percent since the state began limiting inmate food and drink purchases. The Department of Corrections changed its policy in June and now allows visiting families to bring only 30 dollars to spend on food and drinks. Prisoners also are no longer allowed to carry the snacks back to their rooms, meaning everything bought must be eaten in the visiting area. Department spokesperson Brian Corbett says the food policies are necessary for security reasons. Prison officials unsuccessfully suggested snack vendors could refit the machines to take debit cards instead of cash. Vocational Rehab workers say they had hoped prison officials might relax the policy. But so far, the department has not. Twenty-two vendors are employed operating vending machines in Alabama prisons.