Food As Punishment: Giving U.S. Inmates 'The Loaf' Persists : The Salt : NPR: "Law enforcement says the loaf isn't so bad. "It's a food source; it contains all the vitamins and nutrients and minerals that a human being needs," says Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who has used the loaf in his jail for five years. "It's been approved by the courts. I've had it myself — it's like eating meatloaf. "
But prisoners who misbehave don't just get it once. They have to eat it at every meal, for days or weeks at a time. That's why it works as a deterrent, says Sheriff Clarke.
"If you're up on a first-degree murder charge, or some serious sexual assault of a child, you don't have much to lose in jail," says Clarke.
"But when we started to use this in the disciplinary pods, all of a sudden the incidence of fights, disorder, of attacks against our staff started to drop tremendously. The word got around — we knew it would. And we'll often hear from inmates, 'Please, please, I won't do that anymore. Don't put me in the disciplinary pod. I don't want to eat nutraloaf.' ""
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