The US starves its prisoners


#1

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#2

Maricopa County, Arizona feeds county prisoners on .69 cents a day, the last time I checked. That would be one of the reasons the electorate keep on re-electing Sheriff Joe, total dooshbag law enforcer.

BTW: They spend more on the pink under-ware they force inmates to wear…


#3

I was under the impression that overfeeding prisoners keeps them docile. It seems like disciplinary and health problems related to undernourished, unhappy prisoners would offset whatever savings they get from inadequate food supply.

But I guess food, disciplinary costs, and healthcare are on different lines in the budget. Probably no one examines the relationship between them. It’s probably also difficult to prove a meager food supply’s causative effect on discipline & health.


#4

The City of Houston Jail serves fried chopped potatoes with sliced up bacon, coffee (black) & oat meal. Er, so I’m told.


#5

This is a business after all, gotta keep the shareholders happy.


#6

Well if they wanted food, they would have obeyed the law like the rest of us. Holy hell, letting the sheriff keep the change? Welcome to the henhouse, Mr. Fox.


#7

my go-to plan if I end up in a starvation prison is cannibalizing the guards.


#8

i’m surprised that no one else seems to have mentioned jail and prison commissaries. how are you going to provoke the prisoners, well their families actually, to pay $8 a 6-pack for soft drinks, and $7 for a bag of tortilla chips if the inmates are well-fed? having had a son who was in jail and prison i can assure you that the whole system is a huge scam designed to siphon money out of the pockets of inmates’ relatives. woe betide the prisoner with no family.


#9

I was in jail for a few months. The food was not only practically inedible, but they would feed us all 3 meals before 4 pm so we would have to eat commissary crap as a 4th meal every night. Funny thing is, you’re always hungry yet you end up gaining weight from all the processed vending machine garbage and ramen you eat.


#10

For context, it may be worth noting that the estimated daily caloric intake of prisoners in Auschwitz is believed to have been ~1400 calories. (source:http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/othercamps/auschwitzbasics.html) Some of the prison meals quoted in that article are distressingly close to that range and may be even closer if the inmates are having their meals short changed, which I suspect is often the case.


#11

Probably it’s well known, and the guards just want to fuck with the prisoners.


#12

MATT: Jake, Elwood, how you doin’? How was Joliet?
JAKE: Oh, It’s bad. on Thursday nights they serve a wicked pepper steak.
MATT: Can’t be as bad as the cabbage rolls at the Terre Haute Federal Pen.
ELWOOD: Or that oatmeal at the Cook County slammer.
MATT: They’re all pretty bad.


#13

Perhaps it is a secret plot to get prisoners to convert to Judaism…

“You think you know my life? Shabbat Shalom, bitch!”


#14

Holy loaf, Batman, that’s a heck of a lot of bread.


#15

A, ah, acquaintance of mine can verify the general quality and quantity of the food depicted in this article via a month of work-release at the county jail in the Midwest. He was lucky in that work-release people could not only get whatever meals they could manage at or through work, but could also get soft drinks and snacks from a vending machine, at regular vending machine prices, instead of the extortionate prices charged by the commissary. They could even order in delivery food on Friday and Saturday nights. They would have to eat the jail food, though, if they were stuck there on the weekends or didn’t have enough money for the vending machines or pizza, and it was the most depressing crap that Sysco or whoever had the contract could dredge up, and was an effective way of keeping order–the punishment for just about any infraction of the many, many rules in work release was going to real jail, and you knew that you would have to live on that shit or pay commissary prices. Best thing available was the baloney and ham salad sandwiches that work release prisoners got as a bag lunch.

Probably true, and according to the article, a sheriff caught skimming the food budget admitted that he “could double the food portions served to inmates… without significantly increasing his food expenditures.” That’'s also probably true for most places. But one thing that never ceases to be true in the general sense is the American public’s vindictiveness regarding prisoner treatment. A great example of this is how politicians used to whip up the rubes, er, voters by talking about how prisoners in some institutions got color TVs; they kept this up even after you couldn’t buy a black-and-white TV in stores, which meant that the last places that were a market for B&W sets were prisons, and if you think that they didn’t have to pay a premium for that, ha ha, very funny. Joe Arpaio keeps getting re-elected by finding new ways to be petty toward prisoners.


#16

Maybe the idea here is to make the prisoners smaller so they can cram more into each cell.


#17

Seriously, what. the. fuck.


#18

I think it could be called “motivation”.


#19

What’s with all the margarine? I get the distinct feeling it’s there mostly to bump the calorie count.


#20

I’m about half way through the just released season of Orange in the New black, and I’ve been really interested in the storyline, as it relates to the prison itself… Essentially, it’s privatized and… it’s not pretty. I mean, it’s a dramedy, so it’s partial played for laughs, but I do appreciate that Kohan is attempting to address a serious issue.

Denying them food is a human rights violation. Being convicted of a felony doesn’t mean you stop being human.