Connecticut to spend more on inmates’ food
Inmates in Connecticut prisons are possibly looking to better meals once the new budget proposal gets approved.
Lean ground beef, whole pieces of chicken and extra fresh fruit and vegetables could soon be on the menu under a budget proposal from Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy, who criticizes a national trend toward spending less on inmate nutrition.
Malloy argued that with a little more fund spent on nutritious meals for inmates, the state could save a lot more by making inmates healthier, many of whom rely on state-funded health care after their release.
He also considered this move as part of a continuing effort to provide inmates with the life skills they need to re-enter society.
In an interview with ABC news, a former inmate shared what it was like to be in prison with small food budget. He said he still remembers watered-down oatmeal, powdered mashed potatoes and the fights that broke out between grown men frustrated by small portions.
“You have to remember that if you are not being fed, you’re going to be angry. And that anger can turn into violence. If the portions are not sufficient, then those inmates who are bigger and stronger, and I guess more violent, will take the food from other inmates in order to get enough food” said Ed Calderon, 42, who has been out of prison for 13 years.
Calderon now works with at-risk youth in Bridgeport, Connecticut’s largest city.
To be specific, Malloy’s plan would boost the typical daily food budget for each inmate 10 percent, from $2.95 to $3.25.