Arkansas Prisoners Look Forward To $6 Holiday Gift

Saturday, December 1st 2007, 2:07 pm
By: News On 6

BENTON, Ark. (AP) - There will be some extra cash but no holiday fruit baskets for Arkansas prisoners this year. In past years, state inmates received a holiday gift of an apple, an orange and $5 in commissary account money from the Corrections Department. But this year the state's more than 14,000 inmates will get $6 and no fruit.

``You don't get much fresh produce in prison, but we found they wanted the extra dollar,'' prison spokeswoman Dina Tyler said.

Assistant Director Sheila Sharp said the small amount means something ``for a whole lot of them.'' The $78,000 annual gift from the Correction Department gives poor inmates spending money during a season when incarceration can be particularly tough, she said.

Tyler said the money ensures that those without family ties or friends won't feel left out or envious.

``Think about it; if you're all alone in prison on Christmas and the person next to you has a big bundle of stuff, how's that going to make you feel?'' Tyler said.