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  #81  
Old September 28th, 2009, 1:40 am
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Re: Prison

Here's an article I found on prison food in California --> http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...AGGSATUAG1.DTL

One about food in federal prisons --> http://www.slate.com/id/2114313/

Food in Arizona state prisons --> http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...es.html?cat=51

Sounds like the quality of the food varies a lot, from prison to prison, and some are better than others about catering to special dietary needs.

ETA

And apparently, some states are cutting down on the amount of food served in order to cut costs, serving only two meals on some days instead of three. --> http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/0...n-food005.html


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  #82  
Old September 28th, 2009, 3:42 am
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Re: Prison

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ana-Magus View Post
I can actually speak to the food service side of prisons. For a great number of years I worked for one of the largest institutional food service companies in the world. While this company did not provide service in US prisons for moral reasons (the US permits capital punishment), I had frequent contact with prison food service management looking to leave those conditions and join our company. During the interview process, the question of food cost is always addressed and I was shocked by what I learned.

I learned that MOST US prisons keep the "per person" food cost down to about $0.50 US per meal. Keep in mind that they buy in bulk, so they are able to meet nutritional minimums with these prices... but imagine feeding yourself on $5.25 a week.... how well would you eat?

That's the reality in the US prison system. It almost seems impossible.
I mentioned in a previous post that I work in an emergency shelter. I happen to be the head cook and I am responsible for maintaining the budget. I recieve $4.50 (can) per person per day. This amount covers everything in a full service kitchen. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snack, coffee, tea, suger, flour,salt, pepper, napkins etc.

I take great pride in the quality meals I serve with this limited budget. I prepare pretty much everything from scratch. There are a very few items I purchase that are ready made. This is one of the big ways to save money because you're omitting the cost of paying somebody else to prep for you.

Breakfast is self serve. They have 5 different choices for cold cereal, porridge, or cream of wheat, toast (w/ PB&J) pancakes, or eggs.
The rest of todays menu:
Lunch: homemade beef veg soup, ham adn cheese sandwiches, spinach salad, and fresh fruit (watermalon and grapes)
Dinner: roast beef with yorkshire pudding, garlic mashed potatoes, gravy, and cauliflower and broccoli
Dessert: chocolate pudding
Snack: natchos

Serving good quality food, doesn't always come down to $$$ Its more about knowing how to cook


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  #83  
Old September 28th, 2009, 3:57 am
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Re: Prison

I'm late coming to this discussion, but I do think we're experiencing a reap-what-you-sow moment with America's prisons. The "War on Crime," like most American wars on whatever was ill-thought out. None of those who shrieked for tough sentencing laws bothered to think about what would happen when those prisons were at capacity, or of how they would handle an economic downturn.

This reminds me an awful lot of what happened when President Reagan cut state funding for treatment and care of the mentally ill. Predictably, the states opened the doors and sent those people out to fend for themselves. This was one of those "great ideas" that had a shelf life of about twenty minutes. America soon experienced the bane of homelessness.

As for America's prisons, we're experiencing something akin to what happened with the nation's asylums and mental health residential facilities. The Cato Institute has a good policy analysis on the subject.

Prison Blues: How America's Foolish Sentencing Policies Endanger Public Safety


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  #84  
Old September 28th, 2009, 4:09 am
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Re: Prison

Quote:
Originally Posted by coco1965 View Post
I mentioned in a previous post that I work in an emergency shelter. I happen to be the head cook and I am responsible for maintaining the budget. I recieve $4.50 (can) per person per day. This amount covers everything in a full service kitchen. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snack, coffee, tea, suger, flour,salt, pepper, napkins etc.

I take great pride in the quality meals I serve with this limited budget. I prepare pretty much everything from scratch. There are a very few items I purchase that are ready made. This is one of the big ways to save money because you're omitting the cost of paying somebody else to prep for you.

Breakfast is self serve. They have 5 different choices for cold cereal, porridge, or cream of wheat, toast (w/ PB&J) pancakes, or eggs.
The rest of todays menu:
Lunch: homemade beef veg soup, ham adn cheese sandwiches, spinach salad, and fresh fruit (watermalon and grapes)
Dinner: roast beef with yorkshire pudding, garlic mashed potatoes, gravy, and cauliflower and broccoli
Dessert: chocolate pudding
Snack: natchos

Serving good quality food, doesn't always come down to $$$ Its more about knowing how to cook
Absolutely. You cannot deny, however, that that is a very difficult amount to work with. We're talking $0.75 a day. The lowest figure I can recall hearing was $0.36/meal.

Emergency shelters also have the benefit of charity and donations (large or small). A prison budget is finite and small.


  #85  
Old September 28th, 2009, 4:27 am
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Re: Prison

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
This reminds me an awful lot of what happened when President Reagan cut state funding for treatment and care of the mentally ill. Predictably, the states opened the doors and sent those people out to fend for themselves. This was one of those "great ideas" that had a shelf life of about twenty minutes. America soon experienced the bane of homelessness.
Lack of mental health care puts a strain on the prison and jail systems, too. De-institutionalization was necessary on some levels, but sometimes the people who would benefit from psychiatric hospitalization can't get it, and as a result end up in jail. Instead of having a few systems that each do their own thing well, we have one system that's forced to do it all a lot of the time, a the expense of productivity and mental health.


  #86  
Old September 28th, 2009, 4:33 am
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Re: Prison

IMO the link in Pox Voldius posts addresses an important issue. Prisoners who are treated in a good way, get enough food, are satisfied, are less likely to cause problems while being imprisoned. When they are in a bad mood all the time, then it's no wonder that riots start.


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  #87  
Old September 28th, 2009, 4:36 am
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Re: Prison

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ana-Magus
Emergency shelters also have the benefit of charity and donations (large or small). A prison budget is finite and small.
We do recieve grants and dontations for the entire organization, but our food budget is set and fixed annually. Also, we are a 32 bed facility, so the budget is maxed at that amount. Most of the time though, we have more than 32 people, extra funding is not given for the extra people, so the daily allotment per person decreases. If we are one peson over, the budget goes to $4.36 PP/PD


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  #88  
Old September 28th, 2009, 4:39 am
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Re: Prison

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
Prison Blues: How America's Foolish Sentencing Policies Endanger Public Safety
That's what I would call "getting the priorities wrong". The rise in the amount of prisons is shocking, when you see that in the end it's not helping. IMO should they turn their focus on criminals who really need to be stuck inside. Less prisoners also means less costs.


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  #89  
Old September 28th, 2009, 5:46 am
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Re: Prison

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Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
IMO the link in Pox Voldius posts addresses an important issue. Prisoners who are treated in a good way, get enough food, are satisfied, are less likely to cause problems while being imprisoned. When they are in a bad mood all the time, then it's no wonder that riots start.
I've read things to that extent, too. Really, it makes sense. If you aren't treated well, why would you feel like cooperating? Not to mention, a lot of the people in prison likely already have issues with impulse control and dealing well with adversity. It's a challenge to get them to cooperate in the best of circumstances.

I don't think that trying to create a positive and healthy environment in prison necessarily negates the punitive purpose. The imprisonment itself--losing ones freedom and being heavily restricted--is the punishment. There shouldn't be a need to add extra punishment by making prison particularly brutal or unpleasant, especially since prison is usually brutal and unpleasant even if that isn't the aim.

This doesn't mean that prisoners need to (or should) be given a lot of luxuries or pampered. But I don't think that providing a healthy environment where prisoners' needs are looked after with respect and concern is a "luxury." That, to me, is a basic human right that should be awarded to anyone who is under an institution's care. Nor do I think that providing prisoners with opportunities to improve their lives or maintain some meaningful purpose is pampering them. Rather than considering whether or not it's "fair" to let prisoners get an education, for example, I would rather consider the logic and fairness of putting someone out on the street no more prepared to deal with life and make good choices than when they entered prison. I don't think we can expect people to make good choices if we take away the resources to help them make them.


  #90  
Old September 28th, 2009, 6:04 am
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Re: Prison

Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingMaenid View Post
I've read things to that extent, too. Really, it makes sense. If you aren't treated well, why would you feel like cooperating? Not to mention, a lot of the people in prison likely already have issues with impulse control and dealing well with adversity. It's a challenge to get them to cooperate in the best of circumstances.

I don't think that trying to create a positive and healthy environment in prison necessarily negates the punitive purpose. The imprisonment itself--losing ones freedom and being heavily restricted--is the punishment. There shouldn't be a need to add extra punishment by making prison particularly brutal or unpleasant, especially since prison is usually brutal and unpleasant even if that isn't the aim.

This doesn't mean that prisoners need to (or should) be given a lot of luxuries or pampered. But I don't think that providing a healthy environment where prisoners' needs are looked after with respect and concern is a "luxury." That, to me, is a basic human right that should be awarded to anyone who is under an institution's care. Nor do I think that providing prisoners with opportunities to improve their lives or maintain some meaningful purpose is pampering them. Rather than considering whether or not it's "fair" to let prisoners get an education, for example, I would rather consider the logic and fairness of putting someone out on the street no more prepared to deal with life and make good choices than when they entered prison. I don't think we can expect people to make good choices if we take away the resources to help them make them.
Besides, after things like that (freedoms) are takenaway, people tend to overindulge afterwards. I think having a set amount for each prisoner is silly though, since everyone has different needs


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  #91  
Old September 28th, 2009, 1:16 pm
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Re: Prison

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Originally Posted by Voldemorts8thHorcrux View Post
I think having a set amount for each prisoner is silly though, since everyone has different needs
Except that if you look at the article about food in Arizona state prisons (that I linked in my last post), the author, who worked in the prison food service there, stresses that if you don't give everyone exactly the same servings (unless there's a special dietary need for religious or medical reasons), and one inmate sees that the inmate next to him got a larger serving of something, even that is enough to start trouble.


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  #92  
Old September 28th, 2009, 3:43 pm
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Re: Prison

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pox Voldius View Post
Except that if you look at the article about food in Arizona state prisons (that I linked in my last post), the author, who worked in the prison food service there, stresses that if you don't give everyone exactly the same servings (unless there's a special dietary need for religious or medical reasons), and one inmate sees that the inmate next to him got a larger serving of something, even that is enough to start trouble.
and if a muscular inmate sees that they are gettingthe same as a much thinner inmate, I suspect the same would happen


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  #93  
Old September 28th, 2009, 3:49 pm
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Re: Prison

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
IMO the link in Pox Voldius posts addresses an important issue. Prisoners who are treated in a good way, get enough food, are satisfied, are less likely to cause problems while being imprisoned. When they are in a bad mood all the time, then it's no wonder that riots start.
There was a minor moral panic here a few years back when it was revealed that some inmates in a Supermax prison had luxuries such as a kettle, or a radio, or a sandwich maker in their cell.

After a brief flurry of political indignation and high dungeon on talk-back it died a quick death.

A contact in law enforcement said it was because the corrections guys prefer the Supermax guys to have something as they have nothing to lose. They are in isolation and not getting out and a luxury, however small, gives the COs some leverage.


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  #94  
Old September 28th, 2009, 6:42 pm
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Re: Prison

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Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
You cannot make restrictions on every thing, there must be a line drawn about what counts as punishment and what as humiliation. What is taken from them is the freedom to walk around, they are forced to sit behind prison walls. But there are other aspects that are not taken away and never should be. Basics like eating, sleeping should never be part of punishment. In general speaking not only regarding food.
But, how is not being able to have a taco when they're serving hamburgers humilation? If someone's allergic to what's being served then yes, get them something else, but if it's just a want, then no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pox Voldius View Post
Except that if you look at the article about food in Arizona state prisons (that I linked in my last post), the author, who worked in the prison food service there, stresses that if you don't give everyone exactly the same servings (unless there's a special dietary need for religious or medical reasons), and one inmate sees that the inmate next to him got a larger serving of something, even that is enough to start trouble.
Which leads to everyone getting the same food (except for dietary needs like allergies and diabetes) so everyone gets the same thing. Everyone gets the salad containing lettuce, 3 cherry tomatoes, croutons, and ranch dressing. No one can complain that another guy got a better salad. I guess they could get picky "His croutons are bigger. His lettuce is greener." but that's something that will happen no matter what we do.

Or they could make everyone eat in solitary confinement so no one sees what the other gets. But, that's not something I want to do. Let them have a time to converse. If they aren't sentenced to solitary confinement don't give it to them.


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Last edited by leah49; September 28th, 2009 at 6:50 pm.
  #95  
Old September 29th, 2009, 5:12 am
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Re: Prison

1. What are the prison stats in your country?

http://docs.google.com/gview?a=v&q=c...3j8WOih1QLbG3Q

Quote:
Prison Statistics for 2002

The National Crime Records Bureau is yet process the Prison Statistics for the years 2001, 2002 and 2003. But according to the data available from the National Human Rights Commission of India, as on 30th June 2002,

There are 3,04,893 prisoners in Indian jails out of which 2,25,817 are undertrial prisoners.
The sanctioned capacity is 2,32,412. Consequently, the prisons are overcrowded by 31.19%.
Women account for 3.42% of the total population.
There are 787 children below the age of 5 - 6 with their mothers in the jails.
2. How do you feel about the offenses punishable by a prison sentence? (ex. drug trafficking, assault, stealing)

I think it depends on the seriousness of the crime. For example I would not like to see a boy stripped, beaten and tonsured for stealing an egg or two, because he was hungry (it happened in Bombay); and I know that in some villages they tie offenders to the trees and whip them or even cut off their hands or something like that; it depends on who is running the village.

But I would like to see rape, murder, assualt of the mosty serious type be harshly punished.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/a...,prtpage-1.cms

4. How are the conditions in prisons and how should they be changed?

Very Poor. They need enormous improvement; to afford a sane living to the inmates and at the same time, be flushed out of corrupt officials who cater to every whim of certain prisoners who have a lot of political clout.

5. How does(n't) prison teach a person a lesson and how does it equip a criminal to be a good citizen?

I don't see anything in our prisons to equip a criminal to be a good citizen. But the appalling conditions of our prisons could very well be a deterrrent for committing a crime.

6. What purpose do you think prisons serve in society?

They are there to take away a person's freedom and also punish them by making them conform to a choiceless life for a specified period to make them realise their mistakes and ensure they won't do it again.

7. Anything else?

Not at the moment.


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  #96  
Old October 4th, 2009, 1:12 am
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Re: Prison

What do you think about things manufactured by prisoners? Where I live, mostly young inmates get the chance of a job training, so that they can be integrated into society again and get a job. Then there are prisons who manufacture things like small crafts, or things like tables, chairs, toys... which you can buy online or in their prison shops.

Do you think this is a good idea?

Here's the German website for prison manufactured items. Well it's in German, but you can see what they produce and sell, when you click on "Artikelauswahl" on the top and then search the categories on the left. Some things are really nice and personally I wouldn't mind buying things that where created by prisoners.


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  #97  
Old October 4th, 2009, 3:33 am
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Re: Prison

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Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
What do you think about things manufactured by prisoners? Where I live, mostly young inmates get the chance of a job training, so that they can be integrated into society again and get a job. Then there are prisons who manufacture things like small crafts, or things like tables, chairs, toys... which you can buy online or in their prison shops.

Do you think this is a good idea?

Here's the German website for prison manufactured items. Well it's in German, but you can see what they produce and sell, when you click on "Artikelauswahl" on the top and then search the categories on the left. Some things are really nice and personally I wouldn't mind buying things that where created by prisoners.
I think that's a wonderful idea. Not only are they helping society, they are also helping teach themselves something useful so when they come out, it'll be easier to get a job again.


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  #98  
Old October 4th, 2009, 6:13 am
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Re: Prison

I think it's a good idea. In some cases, it can teach some job skills or even a trade, and it can help raise money. With prisoners who can be trusted with these jobs, it seems like a waste not to give them something to do. It probably helps the time pass in a productive manner, too.


  #99  
Old October 6th, 2009, 10:12 am
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Re: Prison

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Originally Posted by DancingMaenid View Post
I think it's a good idea. In some cases, it can teach some job skills or even a trade, and it can help raise money. With prisoners who can be trusted with these jobs, it seems like a waste not to give them something to do. It probably helps the time pass in a productive manner, too.
Am not quite sure where the money they earn goes, but no matter where it's still good. And I'd also like to see the prisons keeping it. When they can pay for the costs with help of selling selfmade goods, then they probably don't need so much tax money then. Or the prisoners who work, get a bit of money and can buy stuff for their own as reward.


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  #100  
Old October 6th, 2009, 7:59 pm
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Re: Prison

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Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
Am not quite sure where the money they earn goes, but no matter where it's still good. And I'd also like to see the prisons keeping it. When they can pay for the costs with help of selling selfmade goods, then they probably don't need so much tax money then. Or the prisoners who work, get a bit of money and can buy stuff for their own as reward.
I'm not sure about the American system. I know that in the UK, prisoners earn a small amount of money that they can save up for their release or spend on necessities, phone calls, or luxuries.

I think a combination is good. Putting prisoners to work can ease some of the money strain on prisons, but prisoners should also have a chance to earn some money for themselves, I think. They'll probably have a better sense of responsibility, and feel better about their work, if they're getting something out of their efforts.


 
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