Inmates at Cook County Jail in Chicago, Illinois, are now allowed to order hot pizza to their cells.
A new program, known as “Recipe for Change,” has made it possible for inmates to order pizza.
So much for prison being punishing, right?
Conservative Tribune reports:
Run by local chef Bruno Abate, the program aims to reduce recidivism rates by teaching inmates skills they can use once they return to society, according to the Chicago Tribune. Moreover, the pies are cooked by specially trained inmates and then sold to other inmates in the medium security Division II dormitory at prices ranging from $5 to $7, meaning the program essentially pays for itself, according to the Tribune.
That’s all fine and dandy, and perhaps even commendable, though Abate’s personal motivations for the project seem a tad disconcerting: He told the Tribune that his main goal was to improve the inmates’ self-esteem, as well as their love for food. I imagine most Americans would prefer worrying about the inmates’ victims’ self-esteem and well-being instead.
A more pressing concern was whether this program might inadvertently nullify some of the the unpleasant aspects of doing time. Nobody wants to be locked up, but the fact that a sentence in Cook County now comes with the luxury of on-demand pizza certainly makes the experience of being in jail seem somewhat less unpleasant.
Here is more about the program:
The local sheriff’s office spokeswoman, Cara Smith, suggested that the program wasn’t designed to spoil inmates.
“It’s not like Domino’s,” she said, adding that once an inmate places his order via a paper form, it can take days for their pizza to arrive.
“This is about helping people get jobs,” added Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. “It builds an incredible sense that they’re worth something.”
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