Sunday, June 01, 2008

Cost Cutters Slash Prison Food Budgets

(AP) Around the country, budget-cutting state officials are looking behind bars for savings - keeping prison buildings unoccupied, double-bunking inmates or laying off employees. Even the prison mess halls aren't exempt. Minnesota is considering following Virginia's lead in serving only two meals per day on weekends, calling one of them "brunch."

Texas prisons have been ordered to cut inmates' daily calories. The prison food proposals are among many cuts being considered as states struggle to balance their budgets. Thirty-four states have overspent their budgets for fiscal 2003, the National Conference of State Legislatures said last month, and 27 still have deficits to close before July 1. At least 19 are responding with plans to reduce prison budgets - and many are starting with the food tray.

Texas prisons have been ordered to cut inmates' daily calories from 2,700 per day to 2,500 in response to budget cuts, said Larry Todd, spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Though a budget plan being considered by the Legislature could mean still more food-budget reductions, he said prisoners will continue to get nutritious meals.
BB: (I say misbehaving or violent prisoners be put on an 1800 calorie per day diet until they have 30 days correct behavior, with no access to other food).

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