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December 21, 2009

A form of cruel and unusual punishment for java junkies

As this local piece reports, tight budget times have led an Ohio jail to deprive inmates of what is a life-saving elixir for some of us: coffee.  Here are the details: 

Tight budgets mean no more java at the jail in Cleveland.  The Cuyahoga County jail has cut out inmate coffee, serving only milk with breakfast and fruit drinks with lunch and dinner.

Warden Kevin McDonough says the decision was made earlier this year as a matter of economics, and because he says coffee has no nutritional value. He says there have been few inmate complaints about the move, except from a couple of old timers.

December 21, 2009 at 03:36 PM | Permalink


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I can understand the nutritional value argument but I would have thought basic bulk coffee would be far less expensive than milk.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Dec 21, 2009 6:22:06 PM

That jail is not the first jail or prison to stop serving coffee! In Federal prison today, the budget for three meals per day is $2.64 per inmate. In trying to save money, all make the "no nutritional value" argument. What they fail to mention is that virtually all prisons and jails have coffee available for purchase in their commisaries, at the inmates' own expense. Thus, coffee is not totally unavailable once it is eliminated from the institution's own menu plan.

The Lucas County (Toledo), Ohio jail was the most civilized jal where I was ever held. At 8 p.m. each evening, inmates are sserved a cup of deaf coffee and cookies. I describe it as the jail equivalent of English "Tea Time". Lucas County also has a branch of the Public Library on the second floor. Once per week each inmate is given an opportunity to go to the Library. He may check out as many books as he can carry back to his cell, every week! For a reader, this makes passing the time not wholly unpleasant.

Posted by: Jim Gormley | Dec 21, 2009 6:59:00 PM

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