ANSWERS: 7
  • Sheriff, I'd like to say I'm shocked and dismayed by this. But of course I'm not. It's just one more thing for the tax payers to be footing the bill on. It does make me wonder whats next?
  • Monday, February 18, 2008 City inmates get healthier diet Gone are the days of feeding slop to city inmates. Whole wheat bread, fruit and steamed vegetables are now standard jail fare. No butter. No sweets. And skim milk only. In New York City jails, life just got a whole lot blander. City Correction Department officials say it's just a healthy overhaul of the jail menu - and not a new way to deter would-be criminals. Inmates are now feeding on fiber-rich cereals and fresh fruit and drinking skim milk instead of whole. "These people are in our custody, and they don't get to make their own choices. We have a moral obligation to make sound choices for them," said Commissioner Martin Horn. "Mayor Bloomberg doesn't say, 'New Yorkers should eat healthy except for inmates,'" said Horn, admitting inmates eat healthier than he does. "But it's my choice." Just last week, the Department of Correction began serving its roughly 14,000 inmates whole wheat bread instead of white bread with meals. In the next few weeks, sweetened muffins will be replaced with unsweetened ones. In the past year, Rikers Island, as well as detention centers in the Bronx and Manhattan, began serving skim and reduced fat milk rather than whole milk, started including fresh fruit with at least one meal a day and banned sugar-sweetened beverages. The healthy food isn't costing the city any more money,Horn said. He pegs the per-day price of food for an inmate at $2.50 without labor costs, a figure unchanged from last year, he said. Serving protein-packed meals has a more practical purpose, he said. They cut inmates' chances of having a stroke, heart attack or other medical emergency on the city's watch. "The cost of an inmate having a stroke or going into diabetic shock is far greater than keeping people healthy to the extent we can," said Horn. The jail system also serves as an incubator for Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden's nutrition craze to cut obesity rates much like the school system does. The Correction Department stopped cooking with trans fats six months before the city made it mandatory for all restaurants. It eliminated fried foods about a decade ago, and during Mayor Bloomberg's administration has scaled back the amount of red meat served in favor of more chicken, fish and tofu. "We have no choice but to eat what they give us. It's bland - so I guess that's healthy," said Rikers inmate Christopher Alberici, 40, of Brooklyn. He craves salt, steak and "eating what I want, when I want" but finds the whole wheat bread bearable. Not everyone favors feeding inmates healthy foods. "You should never eat better in jail than you do on the outside," said Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known as the "toughest sheriff in the West" for famously feeding dogs better than inmates at Maricopa County jail in Arizona. Arpaio spends 40 cents a day per prisoner for food, serving bologna on white bread, a piece of fruit and dried crackers. "My priority," he said, "is keeping meals cheap and not making the inmates happy with good food when they are in jail because they are in jail."
  • My issue is that they still put terribly unhealthy meals in our public schools. Shouldn't our children's health be of paramount importance?
    • Linda Joy
      Where is this? Our schools have healthy food! And parents can always choose to send a sack lunch.
  • this should be the policy everywhere, schools included...
  • 2 quotes to keep in mind: "The healthy food isn't costing the city any more money,Horn said. He pegs the per-day price of food for an inmate at $2.50 without labor costs, a figure unchanged from last year, he said." and ""The cost of an inmate having a stroke or going into diabetic shock is far greater than keeping people healthy to the extent we can," said Horn." Good points in my opinion. Richard Shines
  • They're still human beings, and deserving of humane treatment, regardless of their crimes. You have to hold out hope that these people are capable of redeeming themselves; or else just execute them all "for the greater good" and be done with it...
    • Linda Joy
      So your argument is that healthy food is not humane?
  • Will it may have something to do with the fact that they can make alcohol out of sugar!
    • Linda Joy
      Although they could probably make alcohol out of bread and fruit too! Lol

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