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Monday, September 16th, 2019

Noodles, tuna top NSW prisoner wish list NSW prisoners have spent about $25 million on groceries in the past year during the official buy-up scheme and noodles and tuna are the most popular items.

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by January 8, 2018 General

Noodles and tuna are the most sought-after items for NSW prisoners who take part in the official jail buy-up scheme, according to Corrective Services NSW.

There are about 13,000 people behind bars across the state and figures released on Monday show they spent about $25 million on groceries in the past year.

The program allows prisoners, who are only given basic clothing and food, to buy extra items with wages or money provided by family members.

The top three items were Singapore noodles, tinned tuna, orange drink powder, cola and hot and spicy noodles.

Commissioner Peter Severin said the system helped manage behaviour and saved money because any revenue helped cover operational costs.

“The ability to purchase these goods allows inmates an opportunity to develop a sense of personal responsibility and learn how to budget,” Mr Severin said in a statement.

“These skills can assist them when they leave prison and reintegrate into the community.”

In addition to noodles and tuna, revelations about contraband last year showed inmates also have an appetite for tobacco, crystal meth, prison brew, mobile phones and weapons.

An 11-week sweep of the state’s 36 jails turned up 11 mobile phones, 647 grams of tobacco, 44 prison-made weapons, 3.4 grams of crystal meth, 21 buprenorphine strips (a methadone-like drug) and 10 litres of prison brew.

Corrective Services NSW has previously conceded contraband is an ongoing problem and inmates are ingenious in coming up with new smuggling techniques, however management has pledged to continue its “relentless pursuit”.

An inmate’s weekly wage ranges between $24.60 to $70.55 and they are allowed to spend up to $100 a week on food items, according to Monday’s figures.

The average weekly grocery spend is about $50.

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