What Prisoners Eat – LA Progressive

We’ve all been reading about inflation over the past several months. Food prices are up dramatically this year, and it’s putting the squeeze on a lot of American families. Many people are cutting back, eating less meat, and trying to conserve. But what happens when you’re in prison when food prices are spiking?

On my first day in prison in 2013, one of the other inmates said to me, “It’s Friday. Fish day.” I responded, “Oh. Ok. I like fish.” “Not this fish,” he said. “We call it sewer trout. Stay away from it.” When I got to the cafeteria, I saw boxes stacked up behind the serving line. They were all clearly marked: “Alaskan Cod. Product of China. Not for Human Consumption. Feed Use Only.” I never ate the fish.

There are two ways that prisons are able to save money. They cut food costs and they cut medication costs. In many prisons and jails at the state and local level, any budget surplus goes into the warden’s or sheriff’s pocket.

Check out this article, which documents how an Alabama sheriff legally took home as personal profit more than $750,000 that had been budgeted to feed prisoners and used it to pay cash for a beach house. The prisoners ended up eating scraps not meant for human beings.

Saving Money 

It’s not at all unusual to feed prisoners animal-grade food to save money. It happens all across the country every single day.

In one Arizona women’s prison, current and former prisoners complained that they saw the “Not for Human Consumption” label on boxes of chicken legs and thighs and on lunch meat.

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