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Prisons use 'mystery meat' to deter criminal activity

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Although solitary confinement is an effective method for keeping prisoners in line, other prisoners need more incentives to stay out of trouble. The NPR News site posted a story about a particular deterrent that’s reduced criminal behavior inside prison.

In many different U.S. prisons, punishment arrives in the form of a bland and brownish lump called the nutraloaf. Prisoners refer to it as ‘the loaf.” Each prison has its own concoction. The story mentions how one prison grinds vegetables, starch, and beans into an edible mystery meat. The kitchen staff shapes the product into a brick and serves it to prisoners.

Some civil rights groups have spoken out against this practice. For instance, the American Civil Liberties Union believe food shouldn’t be a bargaining chip for good behavior. Milwaukee County Sheriff, David Clarke, said he has served the loaf for five years. He said it tastes like meatloaf, and is an strong deterrent for disruptive behavior. Unruly prisoners can expect to receive the loaf for days or weeks.

Sheriff Clarke said the loaf has reduced crime because prisoners will stay out of trouble just to avoid the mystery loaf. Read more about the bland nutraloaf punishment at the NPR News website.

Marc Hoover is a freelance writer and author of two books “You Need a Cellmate, Not a Soulmate” and “21 Things you Gotta Know About the NFL.” Click on the links to buy his books or contact him about this story or anything else at augustlake@fuse.net. Marc also has a website for family members to write messages to their deceased loved ones. Visit Letters Beyond Heaven to either share or read personal letters to beloved family members and friends.

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