Jail food Revolting


sanctus
#1



Wichita, Kan. (AP) --
The food at the Sedgwick County jail is barely edible and disgusting to look at, according to two county commissioners who ate at the jail this week.
Commissioners Gwen Welshimer and Kelly Parks ate at the jail Monday after receiving an anonymous tip about the food. They asked to be served the same lunch inmates were served that day.
What they got was five meatballs, mashed potatoes, two slices of white bread, lettuce and canned apple slices.
Welshimer said she barely touched the food.
"Calorie-wise, that food was not something you feed human beings," she said. "Especially if you ate the entire thing, you'd get sick. ... There is no flavor of any kind. OK, maybe they (inmates) don't need flavor, but there should be some way to determine that you're eating."
She said the potatoes weren't peeled and were mashed with water, the lettuce was hot and had water on it.
And, she said, the meatballs "could've been horse meat for all I know."
Parks said he ate the meal, but he had to take Maalox in the afternoon to help his upset stomach.
While jail meals are not required to look or taste good, they must meet dietary and nutrition guidelines in the county's contract with its jail food service provider, ABL Management. An ABL dietitian ensures that the three meals served each day total 2,700 calories, chief deputy David Thompson said.
Thompson didn't respond specifically to Welshimer's comments but said the jail has had some problems with ABL, its food vendor since February, particularly with changing the menu. The county pays ABL $1.01 for each jail meal.
ABL also provides food services for the courthouse cafe, Comcare and the work release facility.
John Appleton, president and chief executive officer of ABL, said Wednesday that he had sent some quality control employees to Sedgwick County to investigate the complaints.
He said the company, which provides food to over 130 locations in 30 states, takes such complaints seriously. But he added that the only complaints he has heard from Sedgwick County until now have been about late meal deliveries.
Thompson said he will ask a dietitian with the county health department to determine if the jail's menu meets dietary needs.
"We take what Commissioner Welshimer says very seriously," he said. "At the same time, we've got to work with the vendor and give them an opportunity to get established."
Commission Chairman Dave Unruh said the county needs to determine if the meals will keep inmates healthy, and if they are consistent with meals served in other detention facilities in the area.
If those two criteria are met, the county will have to decide if it wants to spend more on more appetizing food.
"When I have taken tours of the jail, I have not seen things that have been appetizing, but that's how jails operate," Unruh said.
___
Information from: The Wichita Eagle,
 
Kreskin
#2
It doesn't sound too appetizing. Beats the 4 litres of CoLyte I'm stuck with today.
 
lysyfacet
#3
sucks to be in prison don't it . I guess its just better to be a good boy and stay out eh, personally i wouldn't show any pitty on those criminals who have to eat such food, they deserve it. Stay out of jail, and u can eat w/e u want.
 
MHz
#4
Their visit could have been less traumatic if they had gone dumpster-diving for food for a few days (with a knowledgeable guide of course) before going to the prison.
 
#juan
#5
Hey! Isn't a prison supposed to be unpleasant? Do we have to make it a five star hotel? Give them the nutrition they need. Forget the frills.
 
lysyfacet
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

Hey! Isn't a prison supposed to be unpleasant? Do we have to make it a five star hotel? Give them the nutrition they need. Forget the frills.

totally agree
 
Kreskin
#7
What were they expecting, the Iron Chef?
 
darkbeaver
#8
Now Now guys let's not get to hasty about feeding the prisoners crap, those cells have to be occupied or the company don't get paid, so you got to at least keep them alive and earning a living, salt and pepper would be the humanitarian thing to do.
 
karrie
#9
Hmmmm.... it seems to me that these county commissioners ought to at LEAST compare the fare available to homeless people, via dumpsters and soup kitchens, to that available to prisoners, before making a decision.
 
Colpy
#10
Hey!

Eaten in a hospital lately?

YUCH!

I'ne lost 20 lbs in the last month.......I give much of the credit to hospital food.

I've lost 50 lbs since Christmas Day. Just boke the 200 lb mark, going down.
 
s_lone
#11
How about they make their own food? Instead of paying people to make them food we just give them a kitchen and the ingredients...? Prisonners willing to do community work could have access to a greater variety of ingredients...

???
 
Kreskin
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by ColpyView Post

Hey!

Eaten in a hospital lately?

YUCH!

I'ne lost 20 lbs in the last month.......I give much of the credit to hospital food.

I've lost 50 lbs since Christmas Day. Just boke the 200 lb mark, going down.

Congrats Colpy. That's quite an achievement.
 
Pangloss
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by s_loneView Post

How about they make their own food? Instead of paying people to make them food we just give them a kitchen and the ingredients...? Prisonners willing to do community work could have access to a greater variety of ingredients...

???

That was the first humanitarian (and sensible) post on this thread so far.

Hey Sanctus, inject some educated sanity into this conversation - if someone is humiliated and abused and made sick for the two years in jail, will they come out of jail repentant and grateful for the chance they had to reflect on the harm they have caused, or will they be angry, resentful and more likely to re-offend?

I'm not talking about coddling, I'm talking about basic human standards of decency.

Pangloss
 
Libra Girl
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by s_loneView Post

How about they make their own food? Instead of paying people to make them food we just give them a kitchen and the ingredients...? Prisonners willing to do community work could have access to a greater variety of ingredients...

???

It has always been my understanding that prisoners did prepare their own food...

But, in any event, meals that are not nutritional, or inedible should not be part of the punishment. It is a basic human right, and bad nutrition and inedible food can lead to lifelong dietry and digestive problems. Moreover, if a prisoner is serving a lengthy sentence, and developes digestive problems, it will be the law abiding tax payer that will have to foot the bill for inevitable medical problems arising from such treatment.
 
TenPenny
#15
[quote]What they got was five meatballs, mashed potatoes, two slices of white bread, lettuce and canned apple slices.
Welshimer said she barely touched the food.
"Calorie-wise, that food was not something you feed human beings," she said. "Especially if you ate the entire thing, you'd get sick.[\quote]

I have two issues with the quote above:
- what is wrong with that meal, other than the lack of vegetables?
- why would someone say if you ate that entire thing, you'd get sick? Why? Assuming the food isn't actually bad, how could that make you sick?
 
Libra Girl
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPennyView Post

- what is wrong with that meal, other than the lack of vegetables?
- why would someone say if you ate that entire thing, you'd get sick? Why? Assuming the food isn't actually bad, how could that make you sick?

TP, five meatballs of undetermind ingredient and variety and watery mashed potato's does not constitute a healthy diet... vegetables are far more beneficial than two slices of bread, no doubt processed, always unhealthy, and moreover, the menu was a stolid and heavy diet.
 
TenPenny
#17
As I said, other than the lack of vegetables....

As for the meat that the meatballs are made from, when you go to a restaurant, does the menu tell you what meat the meatballs are made from? No, it doesn't.

The gist of the article is that these people found the meal tasteless, and therefore somehow unsuitable. I agree, there should have been more fresh vegetables. Other than that, the fact that the potatoes were watery, and the meal tasteless, that hardly constitutes a legitimate complaint.
 
able
#18
I was in the army of the 50s, corn flakes were dated from sometime in ww2, boiled eggs flowed from the egg when you cracked the shell ( that included the white as well as the yoke), they made this pink I don't know what substance, that was supposedly meat, never ate it so usually left the mess hall hungrier than when I went in. If we had been fed as well as those prisoners, we would have thought we died and went to heaven. Real honest to God meatballs, mashed, not boiled lumps of potatoes. If my memory serves me right, I don't think I saw a single pork chop, steak wasn't even a dream. I volunteered to serve my country, turns out, I would have been treated better if I had gone to prison.
 
karrie
#19
Meatballs, potatoes, bread, lettuce, and apples, does not constitute a nutritionless meal. You have to consider also, that those county employees had been told ahead of time that the food was gross. If someone told you that you were about to eat a disgusting meal, do you think perhaps you might view it with a more critical eye? It's very easy for them to exaggerate in their minds the quality of the food, and the detrimental after effects, when they've been mentally prepared to expect something revolting. Just look at the way they criticised the meal... "calorie wise, that food was not something you'd feed a human" meat balls, potatoes, bread, lettuce, and apples.... not something you'd feed a human? calorie wise? I'm sorry, but aside from the addition of bread, that's a pretty damn good meal. Poorly prepared perhaps, but a lot of time it's the prisoners doing the prep work.

Speaking of the psychological factor. If everything was flavorless and lacking in calories (which would imply to me the meatballs were low in fat and dry), where do the digestive problems come into play? The peels were left on the potatoes (that's tons of fiber, and many people I know prepare their potatoes the same way), there was lettuce, and apples, which means more fiber even if it was poorly prepared. There were no spices in anything if you believe them. There was no dairy in the potatoes to cause tummy trouble. This sounds like a typical meal at me in-laws for pete's sake.... well, there would be fewer fruits and vegetables at my in-laws. I'm sorry to say, that I just don't buy the criticism. Especially since this meal was one meal out of their day. What did they have for the other two meals? How many vegetables were in that?
 
sanctus
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by PanglossView Post

That was the first humanitarian (and sensible) post on this thread so far.

Hey Sanctus, inject some educated sanity into this conversation - if someone is humiliated and abused and made sick for the two years in jail, will they come out of jail repentant and grateful for the chance they had to reflect on the harm they have caused, or will they be angry, resentful and more likely to re-offend?

I'm not talking about coddling, I'm talking about basic human standards of decency.

Pangloss

Well, you got that right Pangloss. Prison, in my opinion, is not only about punishing, but hopefully reforming. Yes, it does not always work. However, when a society treats its criminals like animals, perhaps that society has become equal to the criminal?

The goal of the penal system should be focused on reform and correction, so as to hopefully return a healthy citizen back into the populace.
 
TenPenny
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by sanctusView Post

Well, you got that right Pangloss. Prison, in my opinion, is not only about punishing, but hopefully reforming. Yes, it does not always work. However, when a society treats its criminals like animals, perhaps that society has become equal to the criminal?

The goal of the penal system should be focused on reform and correction, so as to hopefully return a healthy citizen back into the populace.

That's certainly true; however, my take on the original article was that the food was rather bland and poorly prepared. So it's on par with hospital food. I hardly think that makes a major problem, does it? It's likely as good as what many people eat at home.
 
Pangloss
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by sanctusView Post

Well, you got that right Pangloss. Prison, in my opinion, is not only about punishing, but hopefully reforming. Yes, it does not always work. However, when a society treats its criminals like animals, perhaps that society has become equal to the criminal?

The goal of the penal system should be focused on reform and correction, so as to hopefully return a healthy citizen back into the populace.

Right on Sanctus!

Even from a purely selfish viewpoint, rehabilitation and reform make more sense than vengeful punishment. If someone gets out of prison, is able to maintain a loving relationship, hold a job, pay taxes, aren't we all better off than if they get out of prison with no social or job skills, angry and ostracized from straight society, and re-offend because they have nothing to lose anyway?

There are a boatload of humanitarian reasons for treating our prisoners decently, but even the most callous viewpoint tells us not to shoot ourselves in the foot.

Pangloss
 
sanctus
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPennyView Post

That's certainly true; however, my take on the original article was that the food was rather bland and poorly prepared. So it's on par with hospital food. I hardly think that makes a major problem, does it? It's likely as good as what many people eat at home.

Perhaps, but would it be wrong to feed them decent food? Even for a few years, I wouldn't want to eat hospital food
 
Kreskin
#24
"It tastes awful. And it works." ~ Frank Buckley
 
TenPenny
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by sanctusView Post

Perhaps, but would it be wrong to feed them decent food? Even for a few years, I wouldn't want to eat hospital food

No, it wouldn't be wrong to feed them decent food, but it also isn't wrong to feed them bland food.

There is a balancing act between treating prisoners humanely, and giving them more and better amenities than people who work hard and support themselves.
 
karrie
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by sanctusView Post

Perhaps, but would it be wrong to feed them decent food? Even for a few years, I wouldn't want to eat hospital food


I had a friend who cooked at a half way house. What constitutes 'good food' to a group of men numbering over 40, is very hard to determine. Some have problems with spices, causing gastric upset. Some have problems with dairy, causing the same issues. Some come from the sort of background that very simply can not handle a lot of fiber because they are not used to it. What may be 'good food' to you, could make some inmates drastically ill. I trust the prison to do a better job of counting calories, and dolling out the food needed, than I trust some county commissioners who've popped in for ONE MEAL, evaluated from their standards, not those of the populace consuming the food.
 
sanctus
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

IEAL, evaluated from their standards, not those of the populace consuming the food.

That's a very good point Karrie. In all things of this nature, you'd think the proper people to ask would be the actual prisoners!
 
sanctus
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by KreskinView Post

"It tastes awful. And it works." ~ Frank Buckley

Meanie
 
Kreskin
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by sanctusView Post

Meanie

Prison food could be known as Buckley's Buffet
 
wallyj
#30
The last time I had the opportunity to dine at a gov't institution we were given a sandwich that consisted of a slice of processed cheese between 2 slices of white bread for lunch. This delightful repast was accompanied by a juice box.We ate it and were grateful,everyone knew it was crap,but hell, we were in jail and did not get there because of our outstanding community work. The described meal is not the best but it will keep you alive,and for a BUCK it is a deal for the taxpayer. Cheers.
 

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