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Locked In, Priced Out: Commissary Database

About The Project

The Appeal has created the first national database of prison commissary lists. Using the tool below, you can access full lists from the vast majority of U.S. states and see prices for many products available in prison. You can read more about what we uncovered here and how this database was built here.

You can explore data this via three tabs:

  1. Commissary Lists: Links to commissary lists from each of the 46 states that provided records. Download the data.
  2. Summary Data: A state-by-state summary of the cost of basic food, hygiene, and other items selected by The Appeal. Download the data.
  3. Detailed Price Information: Raw price data used in The Appeal’s analysis of 24 different food, hygiene, and religious products. Download the data.

The Data

Select a view:

State Effective Date Date Provided List Type Vendor
State Product Category Product Type Brand-Name Option Brand-Name Price
State Product Category Product Type Product Description Price

Dear Elizabeth and Tara,

Imagine there are tabs (or maybe a dropdown?) here for each (or a select number?) of the products we include in the database. Clicking a tab will load a visualization like this for the specified product. Wouldn't that be just neat? I'll try to do it if I have time, but wanted to leave this example so that you could tell me whether or not you like it in principle. Lmk what you think!