That header is from a NY Times story that I read last week. The story disturbed me and brought tears to my eyes. It impacted me so greatly that I have taken a full three days to finish this post. Here is the link to the story: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/09/us/09sheriff.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=as%20inmates%20grew%20thinner,%20his%20wallet%20grew%20fatter&st=cse
It is incredibly inhumane to think that prisoners are being fed for $1.75 per day for all meals and growing thinner by the month as a result of being undernourished. The kicker is that the sheriff is allowed to keep any monies that he saves as written into Alabama law.
I have sent a note to the former mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah - Rocky Anderson - who now runs a Human Rights non-profit to see what can be done to address these human rights violations. http://www.highroadforhumanrights.org/ - he is an amazing and visionary man - he was my boss for over 5 years and his passion and intelligence are formidable.
Additionally, I spoke with a girlfriend who has managed kitchens for many years. Here is a sample meal she fixed for 3 yesterday:
Chicken and vegtables for dinner
2.03 chicken thighs
1.29 str fry veg
1.00 br. rice I allready had on hand
.25 for soy sauce& corn starch
.75 for 3 bananas
Thats 5.32 for three good size serving (one cup rice,one cup veg& meat) and a fresh fruit
thats just 1.76 for one person to eat
Of course beans and rice is even cheaper and salsa or tomatoes for vitamin C
This cost does not account for fuel or staffing to prepare and store food.
I am going to write to the Alabama state prison and find out what their budget is for food and see what we can do to get a petition started to address these savage inequities.
Just because a person has committed a crime (1 in 100 Americans is in prison), does not mean that they have forfeited the right to dignity and respect, above all, health.