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Posted by on Oct 20, 2011 in Law | 10 comments

Man’s Inhumanity to Man, Texas-Style: No Weekend Lunch For Prisoners

How far do they have to go to offend the American people’s sensibilities? You will remember that Texas ended the practice of last meals for death-row inmates. Now no lunch on weekends:

Thousands of inmates in the Texas prison system have been eating fewer meals since April after officials stopped serving lunch on the weekends in some prisons as a way to cut food-service costs. About 23,000 inmates in 36 prisons are eating two meals a day on Saturdays and Sundays instead of three. A meal the system calls brunch is usually served between 5 and 7 a.m., followed by dinner between 4 and 6:30 p.m.

The meal reductions are part of an effort to trim $2.8 million in food-related expenses from the 2011 fiscal year budget of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the state prison agency. Other cuts the agency has made to its food service include replacing carton milk with powdered milk and using sliced bread instead of hamburger and hot dog buns.

Prison administrators said that the cuts were made in response to the state’s multibillion-dollar budget shortfall in 2011, and that the weekend lunches were eliminated in consultation with the agency’s health officials and dietitians.

Yes, and we remember that German doctors oversaw human experiments in concentration camps. And American lawyers redefined torture. Despicable. And more common than you might think:

Ohio and Arizona serve two meals per day on the weekends to reduce food-service costs. Georgia serves two meals per day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, though inmates on work details receive a third meal.

Southern Democrats, true to form:

State Senator John Whitmire, a Democrat and chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee whose outrage over last meals on death row led to the end of the practice last month, said the reductions were not a major concern to him. “If they don’t like the menu,” he said, “don’t come there in the first place.”