It is generally pretty bad, but an innovative and entrepreneurial move to allow prisoners to order in, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, makes it better, while making good sense and some money.
“In a bid to raise cash and keep the peace in crowded jails, wardens nationwide are offering inmates the chance to order meatball subs, cheeseburgers, chicken parmesan—even a "Pizza and Wings Party Pack," complete with celery, blue cheese and a Pepsi.
“The program goes beyond the old-fashioned prison commissary, with its cup-a-soups and bags of chips, and it can be quite lucrative for corrections departments.
"We have to be creative in tough fiscal times," said Edwin G. Buss, commissioner of Indiana's Department of Correction.
“But critics worry the service will trigger jealousies, promote unhealthy diets and coddle prisoners.
“The service, launched in 2006 by food-service giant Aramark Corp., took off in the past two years amid the recession. Inmates—or, more often, their relatives—place orders on Aramark's "iCare" Web site. The company tailors its menus to each jail's rules.
“Prices generally run $7 to $12 for a hot meal and $20 to $100 for a junk-food box filled with beef jerky, iced cookies, vanilla cappuccino or other goodies not available in the commissary.
“The Indiana state prison system is on track to make more than $2 million this year on sales from the service. In San Antonio, Texas, the Bexar County jail, which makes 45 cents on every dollar in sales, projects its revenue could hit $500,000.”