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Texas Prisons Are Running Out of Toothpaste and Deodorant

Just in case you needed an extra incentive to stay out of prison, the Texas Tribune brings us the news that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is running out of deodorant and toothpaste.

"For the roughly 151,000 inmates in the Texas prison system, there are 1,800 units of deodorant and 28,000 units of toothpaste left," The Tribune reports. Even with 10,600 deodorant-including "hygiene packs," it doesn't take a mathematician to figure out that those numbers don't add up.

The reason is that, unlike soap, razors, and toothbrushes, deodorant and toothpaste are not considered necessities and aren't provided by the TDJC, though they can be purchased in the prison commissary. It's those supplies that are running low after a state contract with Colgate-Palmolive Company expired at the end of August 2012 for reasons the state did not explain. The agency is currently seeking bids.

Jorge Antonio Renaud, a former inmate now working with the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, penned a prison survival guide for inmates' families that touches on the chronic lack of things that are considered basic necessities in the outside world.

But: "It's not something people bitch about that much," he told the Tribune. "You get stinky and what do you do? It's not life-threatening."


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