If Wisconsin prisoners seem sluggish irritable these days, it could be because they haven’t had their coffee, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. As global food prices soar, corrections facilities are trimming some of the extras from their menus and devising other creative ways to save cash. Behind bars in Clark County, Wa., jelly has vanished from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Bread is becoming luxury of sorts for inmates in Wisconsin. Those locked in the Milwaukee County jail could soon see dessert disappear. “Why should they get dessert?” said Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. “I don’t even get dessert every day at home.”
Food costs for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections have jumped about 12 percent to $1.11 per meal this year. The state is mixing soy into some of its meat mixtures. The department has cut coffee from about half its facilities and is gradually weaning inmates at the remaining sites. “There’s no health value in coffee,” said one official. Ricky Clark, president of the Association of Correctional Food Service Affiliates, won’t stop brewing coffee for Virginia inmates. “It’s the highlight of their day,” Clark said. “We refused to do that. They automatically become irritable and harder to control.” Virginia has taken other masures like less frequent ordering and more freezing of food. They’ve already been watering down milk into a “milk product,” so there’s no place to cut there.