Are Vendors Gouging Prisoners?

by Prisoner?s Family
The vendor pricing comparison below shows how outrageous the pricing of the prison-approved vendors actually is. We encourage our readers to write your state legislator and let them know how unfair it is to make prisoners and their families pay mark-ups of 100-200% when most prisoners make only a few cents an hour and the majority of family members are struggling to make ends meet!
The vendor pricing table compares the prices of 3 widely used prison-approved vendors (Access, Walkenhorst, D&D) to 3 major retailers in the Fresno area (Walgreen’s, Long’s, and Rite-Aid) for the week of December 11, 2005. It shows the percentages of mark-up on prices families have to pay by being forced to buy from vendors.
Per the DOM 54030.9.1- Vendor prices will not exceed the median price of comparable items by more than 10%. DOM also states that “items listed in catalogs must regularly be in stock”…
90% of vendor boxes have at least one out of stock item…and commonly several items that are out of stock.
Items were compared utilizing exact brands, ounces, etc.
Many brands that the vendors sell are not sold in stores and so comparisons are not available (City Cow, Brushy Creek, Cactus Anne, etc.)

Price Comparison
Items & Size
Access Walkenhorst D & D Longs Walgreen Rite Aid
Duracell AA batteries 8-Pk   $9.98 (+124%) $7.12 (+60%) $4.44 $4.50 $4.49
Hersheys Kisses 8.5 ? 10 oz   $4.49 (+75%) $3.38 (+69%) $2.50 $1.99 $1.99
Wheat Thins 7 ? 10 oz   $3.59 (+79%)   $2.00    
Pringles (chips) 6 oz   $1.99 (+101%) $1.75 (+77%)   $0.99  
CoffeeMate Creamer 16 oz $3.20 (+113%)     $1.50    
Folger Coffee 13 oz $7.80 (+291%) $6.99 (+251%) $8.97 (+351%)   $1.99  
Maybelline Mascara $6.30 (+175%) $6.39 (+205%) $6.99 (+241%)   $2.29  
Infusium23 Sham.or Cond. 16 oz $8.04 (+61%) $10.49 (+305%) $7.99 (+60%)   $4.99  
Pantene Sham. or Cond. $6.99 (+109%) $6.99 (+109%) $5.39 (+62%)   $3.33  
Lady Speed Stick-Deo / anti-persp. $4.00 (+79%) $5.49 (+60%)     $2.05