Department of Justice

BOP Commissary Crunch

The Bureau of Prisons has approximately 183 institutions with approximately 177,000 inmates. We move inmates throughout the Bureau and ship the inmate’s property utilizing United Parcel Service (UPS). The Bureau of Prisons does get a discount on the shipping cost however, the inmates are authorized to ship commissary goods mostly perishables such as soups, rice, candy, etc. The cost to ship these commissary items is at least 25% or higher for those inmates who have much more commissary to be shipped. There is nothing in Policy that dictates the amount of commissary that can be shipped with the exception of normally two (2) boxes 14”x14”x19” will be used per each inmate for all of their property. I have been with the Correctional Systems Department for five years and have seen many boxes that were shipped be full of nothing but commissary items. Here at FCC Florence as a complex we have spent in FY2007 $20,964.59, FY2008 $21,025.69, FY2009 $16,801.30, FY2010 $19,089.94, and to date for FY2011 $12,956.31. This brings the grand total to $90,837.83 in the past 4 ½ years just at FCC Florence. If the Bureau of Prisons was to stop shipping commissary items, (food), for the inmates it would bring down the UPS cost by at least 25%. Just at this complex that would have been a savings of $22,709.46 over the past 4 ½ years. If we break down the numbers for our complex with four facilities it comes to approximately $4,550.00 a year for each. At 183 facilities times $4,550.00 it comes to a total of $832,650.00 a year. The 25% saving would be an approximate savings of $208,162.50, this is a significant amount. The inmates do not need to have the Bureau of Prisons ship the food items when the other institutions have commissary that can be purchased at each facility.

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Idea No. 5793