The property of prisoners in Spain: a balance of 16 million whose income is no longer free

  • This is the money received by prisoners of authorized family members for their expenses in the prison stores.
  • Coffee, tobacco, cleaning products, soft drinks and other products are those that prisoners can acquire with a card that has a weekly limit.
  • The money of Soto del Real prison (Madrid V) is the most substantial, with 618,944 euros.
Soto del Real

Soto del Real prison in Madrid. EUROPE PRESS

Almost 16 million euros amounted in May to the balance of the prisoners’ money, deposits that authorized family members make for the expenses of the inmates in the commissary and that are not free, since most of them are made by money order (costs 1, 95 euros) or bank transfer, which also have a cost.

Coffee, tobacco, cleaning products, soft drinks and other products are those that prisoners can acquire with a card that has a limit of money for the week, what is known as money and that is nourished by money that relatives or authorized relatives they enter the corresponding penitentiary center account.

As of May 30 this year, the balance of the 83 penitentiary centers, including the CIS, dependent on the general administration of the State -all but those of Catalonia-, was 15,921,199 million euros , which would mean an average per inmate of 313,7 euros if it were distributed among the approximately 51,000 current prisoners.


These are data that come from a parliamentary response from the Government to socialist deputy Antonio Hurtado , who was interested in the balance of the money for each jail, the bank in which he is admitted, the cost to the person making the deposit and the way in which this one has been established.

The Government relates in its response the money of each of these 83 accounts and that of the Soto del Real prison (Madrid V) is the most substantial, with 618,944 euros.

They are followed by the prison of Valencia (589,330 euros), Madrid VII Estremera (537,464), Madrid VI Aranjuez (534,772), Mallorca (534,559) Algeciras (530,529), Madrid III Valdemoro (508,663), Zaragoza (498,309) and Sevilla II Morón ( 490,788 euros).

According to the Executive, the accounts have been contracted with the Bank of Santander on February 8, 2017, an entity that was awarded after no other wanted to accept the conditions of the contest, which had to be repeated.

Three methods to enter

The Government reminds us that there are three ways of depositing money in the accounts of funds, one of which is the imposition in the windows of the penitentiary centers, to which the relatives can go and do it for free.

Another way is the bank transfer from the relative’s account to the account of the money and its cost depends on the conditions that the client has contracted with his entity.

And the third form is the administrative postal order , which has a fixed cost for the sender of 1.95 euros for each tax, and which was fixed by Correos through an agreement with the General Secretariat of Penitentiary Institutions on April 1 of this year.

According to the PSOE, Santander demanded that revenues were not free

Hurtado has lamented that “before the relatives fed the balance of the money without any cost and now they have to pay”.

According to the Socialist deputy, in the last award, the Bank of Santander “demanded as a condition that income not be free” , but “depends on the conditions agreed upon by the bank with whom it makes the deposit”.

The parliamentarian from Córdoba has also indicated that the windows have been put back into operation in the penitentiary centers so that authorized family members and friends can also enter the premises at no cost. A return to the box that “has caused a lot of discomfort among the officials” , as specified.

For all these reasons, Hurtado describes as “regrettable” that this service is not free and that the bank “does not even lend itself to a social contribution of such little cost to them”.

“The lack of solidarity on the part of the bank will lead the Administration to assume a much higher cost having to enable windows in each of the 83 prisons,” he concluded.