Sizemore whines about jail food, and what we (and he) should learn from it

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

As I noted on Monday, Bill Sizemore had a lot of complaints about the criminal justice system after serving an 18-day stint in the pokey.

He told the O's Jeff Mapes that the jail food was "disgusting" - and now, we've got an in-depth investigative report by KATU's Thom Jensen. The video is worth every one of its three minutes!

Sizemore told Jensen that he just couldn't stand the meals - and yet, Jensen reports, Sizemore insisted to jail staff that they maintain a regular supply of plastic-wrapped blueberry cheese danishes in the vending machine.

But the closing note in Jensen's report is truly priceless:

The meals costs taxpayers about $1.15 each and Sizemore suggested maybe they should spend more. But when we pointed out the irony in a tax activist wanting taxpayers to fork over more money for jail food, he changed his tune. He then said maybe they should just add fruit and other healthier choices.

That's right, folks. First, Sizemore says that taxpayers should pay a bit more for jail food. Then, when the irony's pointed out, he just calls for more fruit. Um, Bill, fresh apples and oranges cost more than baloney sandwiches.

To move beyond the snark - and boy, does this story provide a lot of awesome snark - I'd like to point out that the problem with jail food is very similar to the problem with school food in our public schools.

On the one hand, school lunches are expensive to produce. An increase of just one cent per lunch can easily add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of a year. But, even more than jail inmates, it's critical that we serve healthy and balanced meals to the children in our public schools. We need a few more fresh apples and lot fewer plastic-wrapped blueberry cheese danishes in our schools. (I've become a big fan of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution campaign, which is a show that everyone should be watching, by the way.)

It seems to me that that's something that even Bill Sizemore might understand now.

Too bad that we've slashed the taxes that fund our schools - including those lunches. Maybe Bill can help us figure out how to fix that.

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    More, it isn't exactly rocket science that getting a balanced, healthy diet helps kids grow correctly, and there is even evidence that a lot of behavioral and mental conditions are based in poor health.

    ...lets see. There is links between bad nutrition and poverty. There is links between poverty and crime rate. Huh... You think that maybe, just maybe, that by feeding them better, we might get a lower recidivism rate by good food?

    ...naaaaah! Prison is a punishment, meant to be so scary and dehumanizing it will act as a deterrent to crime, right? Because that has worked so well over history... We don't want to raise a generation of people who commit crimes just to get free room and great food, right! Food is a privilege!!

    ...going to go sit in my snark-tank now and let this wear off...

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    Should we now expect Sizemore to start a crusade for prison reform? Blueberry cheese Danishes on every cell block!

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    I also love the Food Revolution show, as does Abby. After watching it, she wrote to him and asked him to come to her school district. The meals here are awful, but Abby prefers a hot meal for lunch as opposed to a cold sack lunch.

    The few times I ate with her it was stuff like: - lukewarm nuggets - lukewarm tater tots (that tasted stale)

    And then you could add to that on the "salad bar". It was filled with iceberg lettuce salad, which gives very little nutrition to kids. They'd be better off with some darker greens, which I have found are often times cheaper than iceberg lettuce.

    School lunches should be nutritional and tasty. School is not punishment. Prison, on the other hand, is. Sizemore should just feel lucky that the meals were as good as they were. Some places serve the exact same thing every day.

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      Food should never be a punishment. Don't care if you are in high school, a minimum-security 'club fed', or a supermax gulag. Food, especially that provided to populations which have no alternatives, should be healthy and in appropriate portions.

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    Next time, Sizemore should be sentenced to spend a few days working the counter at DMV or working a case at DHS. Perhaps he would gain some respect for public workers.


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