Small item contraband: From nuisance to peril
Limiting excessive amounts of allowable items is important in controlling illegal trade and preventing unlikely weapons
I believe that excessive amounts of a seemingly innocent item should be considered to be contraband. A prisoner may have a pen in his possession; but there is no valid reason for a prisoner to hoard 100 pens.
Each item should be assigned a specific numeric limit. Otherwise, discretion erodes the imposition of sanctions and permits loopholes. The resulting ambiguity may ultimately increase danger.
Limiting excessive amounts of allowable items is important because it controls illegal trade. It also slows the manufacture of weapons from unlikely items.
Prisoners are generally allowed to possess soap. One or two bars of soap found during a cell search is no big deal. What if you find 200 bars of soap in a cell? On the face of it, this seems to reflect the actions of a compulsive hoarder. However, it is more likely that the prisoner serves as the hub of an illicit trading system.