Gibson-Light writes, “Throughout the nation, we observe prison cost-cutting and cost-shifting as well as changes in the informal economic practices of inmates.
That practice is called punitive frugality, and it means that inmates are becoming increasingly responsible for meeting their own needs behind bars.
That forces them to prioritize items that can keep them healthy, and that’s where ramen comes in:.
Because it is cheap, tasty, and rich in calories, ramen has become so valuable that it is used to exchange for other goods.
Ramen is used to buy all sorts of necessary items, from food and clothing to laundry and hygiene products.
That ban made cigarettes too valuable to use as regular currency, but they are still incredibly lucrative in the prison economy.
The system needs to be reformed, and the Department of Justice’s decision to shutter private prisons is a great start. »