Women prison inmates in Utah pack on pounds at state's expense

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  • durwood kirby South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 21, 2013 3:59 a.m.

    No word on exercise?

  • ute alumni paradise, UT
    Sept. 18, 2013 10:22 a.m.

    use nutrisystem, easy, fast, delivered to their dooor and it works

  • skitter Orem, UT
    Sept. 18, 2013 7:26 a.m.

    Hutterite I worked at the Prison for 6 years and I can honestly say I only knew one inmate that was in there for having pot. He was caught driving a U-Haul truck filled with it. We don't incarcerate pot users. In fact most drug users get sent to rehab. My brother in law had a relative that was arrested numerous times for meth. She never spent a day in prison. You need to learn the difference between a drug crime and drug related crime. I will illustrate the difference. Smoking Pot will get you a fine. Robbing a store to pay for your pot will probably get you sent to prison.

  • redshirt007 tranquility base, 00
    Sept. 17, 2013 11:06 p.m.

    So an employer in Utah looks the lady over, can come to grips with her being a felon but those extra pounds....."ya we just can't USE you right now but if you have any skinny felon friends send them over.."

    Well as long as you have 600 million to build a new prison nobody wants moved..

  • adazzle.dim SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 10:23 p.m.

    If prisons are releasing inmates that are obese because of their prison diet, that's a story, Deseret News. And if there are cheaper food suppliers, let's use them. But it's irresponsible to frame the issue as being primarily about saving state funds. First of all, if we really care about the health of the inmates, then most likely improving their health will have as much to do with improving the quality of the food as it does with cutting their calories. If they're eating food that's anything like what the kids eat in our public schools, it will cost *more* to feed them appropriate portions of high-quality calories (fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, unprocessed foods) than it does to feed them their current overabundance of cheap, nutritionally poor, prepackaged, high-calorie foods. Secondly, the amount of money you're talking about here is minuscule when compared to future costs if we don't maximize prisoners' chances of health and success upon leaving prison. It quite possibly would cost a bit more rather than less to deal with prisoner nutrition problems--but that's a story only the Trib would run.

  • uwishtoo MESA, AZ
    Sept. 17, 2013 9:43 p.m.

    So overweight women can't make it in the real world? Give me a break! Why feed them such garbage instead of healthier things?

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 8:13 p.m.

    I like Maverick's comment.

    I suggest some research, you know what real reporters used to do, on the whole food service system. If it is anything like the public school food you would find almost everything is partially cooked in industrial kitchens, flash frozen and re-heated on-site at the time it is served. Every thing like pancakes, waffles, burgers, chicken, sausage patties and links, vegetable, everything.

    This concept is sold on the basis of cost effectiveness that you don't need to hire a real chef to run a kitchen, all you need is someone to heat and serve the meal. The menu cannot be varied and you are locked in to suppliers and distributors.

    Wonder why kids are so overweight? It's the school breakfast/lunch diet!

    Cooked on site may be more expensive but it would be under local control.

    A rather simple diet could be created around basic foods prepared on site. Oatmeal and cracked wheat for breakfast, prison baked bread and rolls with occasional eggs and meat protein won't kill anyone. Oh, sandwiches and soup for lunch, you get the idea.

    Food is a morale factor, be happy, stay out of prison.

  • kattawn ,
    Sept. 17, 2013 6:09 p.m.

    I'm sure the Dept. of Corrections cannot afford to put everyone on an Atkins-type diet with bunches of protein and fresh veggies. My guess is their diets are supplemented big time by pasta and other high carb foods to keep it as cheap as possible - just like a lot of middle class families are doing now. I'd also like to know how many inmates became super skinny because they bought drugs/alcohol over food, and getting off of drugs and eating better just naturally would make you gain weight, like when you quit smoking.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 5:44 p.m.

    More than a few of the women inmates have a meth problem (even if they're not in prison for that specific crime). As such they tend to be severely undernourished when they are admitted.

    Let the prison staff evaluate their medical conditions. IF they are becoming obese, its' a prison staff problem. Not ours.

    Judges in Utah tend to use prison as a "last resort" for women.

    Remember, MOST women, by the time they have gotten so far "down" that they are in prison are usually badly in need of nutritional help; among other things.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 4:44 p.m.

    I'd provide work to do that will bring satisfaction, provide something salable, build character, defeat boredom,teach the work ethic, develop skills, and an incentive - that they could be freed after working productively and satisfactorily for a certain number of hours, weeks or months.

    As it is the women inmates might need extra health care, and male inmates seem to use their surplus calories working out to build up muscle which makes them more menacing to the prison guards. Neither seems to be a good idea. They should have enough to maintain a healthy weight, and food that will give them a healthy heart. If they don't like it they can work their way out of incarceration.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 17, 2013 4:39 p.m.

    The idea of feeding inmates well is based on the practical result that well fed inmates are less prone to prison violence. Makes sense to me.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 4:27 p.m.

    Well done to the officials who took a look at this.

    A quarter million here and a quarter million there and soon you are talking about real money.

    This is a logical, common sense approach, not so much to save immediate waste in food costs, but for the long term BENEFIT of the prisoners to get them used to a healthy diet, and keep them from becoming obese (at least on the taxpayer's dime.) That in turn should help reduce long term medical costs for them (and I bet taxpayers will be picking up the tab for that as well.

    They might want to check with Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Phoenix. He manages to feed prisoners pretty cheaply. Also, check to see if the school systems have any food they will not be suing that is near expiration date that can be diverted to the prisons- we already paid for it. And, keep the prisoners working on raising food for their own consumption, not just because fresh food is good for them, but to teach farming skills to help with future employment, and also to instill a work ethic.

  • applesnoranges24 Logan, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 4:15 p.m.

    @skibird. That is why they broke it down to cost PER meal. Meaning how much they're spending on each person. That way, the costs can actually be compared instead of just saying "This location spends more than this location" Not only is Draper spending a million more, but their cost per meal is also higher.

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 4:12 p.m.

    @skibird - Gunnison doesn't spend less per meal because it's smaller, it just buys cheaper food. Plus, you are oversimplifying the issue. They're already giving them more than physicians have recommended they should. Since the women spend most of their days doing activities that don't require a lot of energy, then their diet should reflect that. That's just basic nutrition. While they may be criminals, we're doing them a disservice by overfeeding them. Besides, we're already paying for their food, clothing and shelter; do we also need to pay for the medical conditions that accompany obesity too?

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 4:11 p.m.

    I guess it's not "three squares" a day anymore, it's "three rounds."

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 4:09 p.m.


    We house women in different facilities simply because they are women.

    No lawsuit there?

    If all a woman needs is 2000 calories they should count their lucky stars and thank the taxpayers for even giving them that.

    2001 calories would be a waste.

    I wish we could give them 1000.

    Dont' like it?

    Don't be a criminal

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 4:06 p.m.

    What an outrage!

    $1.2 million over 5 years?

    That's like... a lil over $200k per year!

    I'm so angry and I'm not gonna take it anymore! Where's my tea party hat and "Don't Tread on Me" flag?

    Lousy entitled inmates! Stealing my tax dollars. If it were up to me, they wouldn't even get food there!

    Why does the Dnews public these types of articles? Why not actually do some research instead?

    I'd rather see the Dnews actually investigate and find out just how much money Parents for Choice kicked into Sen. Neiderhauser's campaign to pass this new school grading system? Or which legislators have a lot to gain by relocating the prison due to their connections to the real estate industry?

    Instead of promoting an ideology and agenda, I'd love to see the Dnews actually fulfill the media's role and act as a watchdog for citizens rather than a puppet to its corporate master.

  • skibird Spanish Fork, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 3:34 p.m.

    Oh yeah, that will go over well. Corrections will start to feed it's women less just because they are women. That's a lawsuit waiting to happen. The Gunnison prison is quite a bit smaller than the one in Draper, of course the Draper facility is going to spend more on the food.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 3:24 p.m.

    Isn't this just a nice story to incite anyone who's got a burn on about anyone who might be getting anything from government that they don't. And don't those big tubs of gruel look appetizing? Maybe we should have programs in place in society to keep people out of prison in the first place. Start with education and go from there. Or maybe look at how many are there because they had pot. That's dumb.