Governments Try To Save Money By Serving Inmates Less Food


Prisoner food is hard to trim out of city, county, and state budgets, but governments are trying to save, says the Detroit Free Press. In a Michigan Department of Corrections cost-saving plan that could go statewide this fall, steps include standardizing menus and ordering food in bulk. In one Michigan jail, an officer slips a warm, cellophane-wrapped cheeseburger and a small plastic container of lemonade through a shoebox-size slot in the bars of a cell holding a woman accused of driving on a suspended license. No condiments. No straw. “It’s edible,” said the 30-year-old. “I expected bologna and hard bread.”

If she had been arrested elsewhere in metro Detroit, her fare would have varied from a heated frozen meal to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. In May, Wayne County privatized its jail food program in an effort to save $2.5 million a year. “These are people we have locked up,” Harper Woods Police Chief Randolph Skotarczyk said. “It can’t be bread and water.”

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