The items which you allowed to have in prison is set out in what is called the “Facilities List”, which should be available from the wing office. Whilst there has been an attempt to standardise this list over all prisons, there is still a considerable difference between what each prison allows.
Borrowing or lending of any item of your personal belongings is strictly forbidden. The prison will maintain a Property card for you which will list exactly you have in your possession. If you are found to have, say, a radio in your cell which you have borrowed from another inmate it is likely that the radio will be confiscated. There will be the immediate suspicion against you that you either stole the radio, or obtained it by threat or bullying. In any event, and no matter how innocent the transaction, there will be adverse comments entered against you on P-Nomis. There is undercover trading in some small items, eg tobacco and this is often on the basis of 2 for 1 (commonly called Double Bubble). There is no money circulating within the prison, but debts do accrue between prisoners. It is disputes about these debts which can lead to violent attacks and why some prisoners asked to be moved to the vulnerable prisoner wings as they cannot repay their debts and are nervous of the consequences.
If you want to buy an item, such as a small radio, you will normally be allowed to do so assuming you have the funds available. The prison will have its own facility list, based on the nationally agreed criteria, and you will be able to place an order with the prison approved supplier, for example ARGOS. The purchased item will be delivered to the prison, added to your property card and if necessary PAT tested before it is made available to you. As with almost everything else in prison this process starts with an application form being presented to the Wing Office
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