The retailer is already the subject of numerous lawsuits over the way it treats inmates and the company has been forced to deal with an internal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department that accused it of overcharging inmates for jail space and failing to treat them fairly.
Now, it appears that the retailer may have just launched a new program that allows inmates to take advantage of its $1 million discount on the Wal-mart store’s new $200,000 fire extinguishers.
The program, dubbed the “Walmart Discount on Fire Supplies,” is set to launch in early 2018 and will give inmates up to $100 off the $200 fire extinguishing package, according to a news release.
The discount on fire extinguishments will be available in stores, Walmart spokesperson Julie Barger told Axios, adding that the store “will continue to provide a wide range of fire extinguishment products and accessories for our associates.”
The program is a way for Walmart to give inmates access to its brand new fire extinguisems at no cost to the company, which is hoping that inmates will use them more in future inmate lockdowns.
It also comes at a time when inmates are facing increasingly high costs for fire extinguishes.
A study released in April by the National Institute of Justice found that fire-suppression bills for incarcerated Americans are more than double what they were in the early 2000s, when a federal mandate to save inmates from burns led to the cost of many inmate fires soaring.
A new report by the New America Foundation, however, also found that inmates have not seen an increase in costs in the years since the prison reforms.
In the years before that, however—before the advent of the prison industrial complex and the advent that of the new model of mandatory sentencing—the inmate population experienced little price increases, according the report.
And, as the study points out, the number of inmates incarcerated at federal, state and local levels has increased from 1.5 million to 2.5 billion since 2008.
A spokesperson for Wal-Marts parent company, Sam’s Club, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.