• Texas Cuts Inmates' Lunch to Reduce Costs, Annoy Civil Libertarians

    For the United States, there are a few downsides to being number one in such highly competitive rankings as "most prisoners" and "highest incarcaration rate per capita." Although accounting for 25% of the world's prison population while containing only 5% of the world's total population is an impressive feat, this accomplishment comes with certain costs; housing, securing, and providing medical attention to hundreds of thousands of inmates is an expensive proposition.

    Now Texas, ever the leader in the burgeoning field of pissing off the ACLU, has come up with an ingenious $2.8 million cost-cutting solution. Do all those prisoners really need to eat three times a day?

    Texas prison officials last month ended the decades-old practice of serving last meals to inmates about to be executed after one man ordered an elaborate feast of hamburgers, pizza and chicken-fried steaks that he did not eat.

    But the 300 inmates on death row are not the only ones coping with food restrictions.

    Thousands of other inmates in the Texas prison system have been eating fewer meals since April after officials stopped serving lunch on the weekends in some prisons as a way to cut food-service costs. About 23,000 inmates in 36 prisons are eating two meals a day on Saturdays and Sundays instead of three. A meal the system calls brunch is usually served between 5 and 7 a.m., followed by dinner between 4 and 6:30 p.m.

    Of course, it's always possible to get even more creative. With nearly 500 executions since 1976, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has all the ingredients one needs for soylent green.

    Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: ACLU, Food, Prison, Texas


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