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Texas prisons no longer serving weekend lunches to inmates

By Katerina Nikolas     Oct 26, 2011 in Lifestyle
Texas City - Texas prison food came to attention when the last meal for prisoners on death row ended in September. It has now been revealed that prisoners are only receiving two meals a day over the weekends, as lunch is no longer on the menu.
Prisoners in Texas no longer have to wonder what is for lunch, as lunch is no longer on the menu at weekends. In a cost cutting venture aiming to slash $2.8 million from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice budget, prisoners now only receive three meals a day on weekdays. The cutback only applies to state prisons and those in county jails and federal prisons continue to receive their full meal quota.
According the New York Times the compulsory diet plan affects about 23,000 inmates in 36 prisons. Michelle Lyons, spokeswoman for the prison administration, issued a statement saying “Extensive consultation with T.D.C.J.’s health services department and system dieticians prior to implementation of this plan have allowed us to avoid any medical issues.” In a further cost cutting venture the prisons have replaced milk cartons with powdered milk.
Prisons actually introduced the changes back in April, pre-dating the decision to stop serving the traditional last meal to prisoners on death row facing execution. State Senator John Whitmore commented on the absence of lunches, saying “If they don’t like the menu, don’t come there in the first place.” Texas is not the only state where prisoners go hungry at the weekends as the practice has also been introduced in Ohio, Arizona and Georgia.
Texas inmates are still able to buy additional food from the commissaries providing they have the funds. The Texas Tribune publishes a table indicating what goods are available along with annual sales of each item. There is a noticeable absence of fresh fruit and vegetables available, but plenty of processed foods including noodles, chips, and pouch meals including chili with beans. According to the table Texas inmates spent almost $100 million in purchases in 2009.
More about texas prisons, prison lunches, last meal death row, texas commissary, texas dept of criminal justice
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