A friendly prof. sent me an article about the currency in prison. In the U.S., the old, gold standard - cigarettes, has now been replaced by "macks".
Mackerel fish. A can of the dastardly stuff goes for about $1. Two macks buy you a haircut, 400 macks a cellphone. There's obviously some elasticity in there, compared to the outside world. The prison has a cellphone-to-haircut ratio of 200 and the outside world, a ratio of about 6 (regular haircut, non-smart cellphone).
Explained easily enough:
Long hair, short hair, who cares? ...
The cellphone, OTOH, lets you keep tabs on your drug-peddling , allows cyber conjugal visits, helps plan the escape, etc...
So the currency is macks.
Me, I'd have thought it was simply the £.
Sorry. Prison joke.