Whatever you think of hotel heiress Paris Hilton, her case is resulting in lots of media attention to jail conditions. Hilton reportedly is rejecting most of her jailhouse rations, opting for just cereal and bread, says the San Francisco Chronicle. The newspaper reports that contrary to popular belief, food fare in the slammer these days is far from gruel and water. State regulations requires meals not only be nourishing but also look good on the plate. Many California jails serve vegan dishes to please socially conscious inmates. Other jails have a plethora of plans to satisfy diets restricted by religion or health issues.
Steve Whitmore, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman, says he’s been eating a lot of meals from the socialite’s new home — the downtown Twin Towers jail. “I think they’re really good,” said Whitmore, who particularly savors the bologna sandwiches. On a typical day, inmates get a breakfast of cold cereal, hard-boiled eggs, and a beverage. For lunch, it’s usually a sandwich of ham and cheese or turkey, fruit, Jell-O, and cookies. Dinner is a hot meal — entrees like pepper steak or macaroni and cheese, vegetables, and dessert. Los Angeles County has 47 different meal plans for inmates who can’t eat certain foods. Violent or problem inmates get the dreaded “disciplinary loaf,” which is designed to be eaten without utensils. The recipe calls for dry milk, potatoes, carrots, tomato juice, cabbage, lean ground beef or turkey, textured vegetable protein, eggs, red beans, and chili powder — all baked in an oven for an hour.