Sound Off for November 28th: Should inmates be allowed to buy "luxury" items with money earned?

Published On: Nov 28 2012 02:33:47 PM PST

State prison officials here in Washington are making it easier for inmates to get things like peanut butter and even hot soup inside their own cells.

Inmates at Airway Heights Corrections Center are using their own money, earned behind bars, to purchase items in the prison commissary.

They're even allowed to use small hot plates to cook in their cells.

300 items are available to buy.  Things that range from upgraded toothbrushes to Doritos or candy bars.

It's a program aimed at teaching inmates the value of hard work.

Inmates say it teaches them self worth and relieves stress knowing they can use their hard earned money to make purchases.

And those are skills they can apply to the outside world.

But the majority of the money they earn goes to pay restitution and other legal fees.

What do you think? Should prison inmates be allowed, at their own expense be able to purchase things like chips, soups and coffee behind bars or are these luxury items that offenders should have to give up because they've been convicted of breaking the law?

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