This is a term given to the common bartering that goes on Behind Bars. Offenders rarely have everything they need, much less everything they want and thus, a huge blackmarket of goods and services goes on in the prison setting. Trafficking and Trading is a disciplinary infraction and depending on what is being traded or trafficked can pull down various degrees of punishment for a conviction.
You would think that this would be just a minor nuisance and perhaps a good way for things to get distributed among the Offenders Haves and the Offender HaveNots. Unfortunately, like almost everything else that goes on behind bars, things are not so simple or cut and dried. The problem arises because this sort of trading goes on in dark corners, vaults, showers, rec yards and work sites and is not like a Flea Market or a Yard Sale where money or other items are traded for things of like value. No, these dealings are more like Mastercard and Visa and BankAmerica. The HaveNot doesn’t have what he/she wants or needs. The Haves have it and they offer it like a carrot on a stick to the HaveNots. The HaveNots, generally speaking not persons who generally make wise decisions in life, take the carrot on account. On account of they want it right now and they cannot avoid temptation. Eventually, the HaveNots owe the Haves a lot of cash, goods or promised services for things that have already been used, eaten or used up some other way.
That is where the problem arises. The Have’s then demand payment. The Haves must pay… or else.
The “Or Else” is usually not good. You can use your own imagination what “Or Else” might be, but be aware of the fact that much of what goes bad Behind Bars is a direct result of Traffick and Trading.