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State Wants Better Food for Inmates
By wtvq.com
Published: 01/21/2010

One Kentucky State Representative has introduced a bill to improve the quality and quantity of the food at all of the state's prison, but critics say it's costly and unnecessary. This was the scene last August when inmates rioted at Northpoint Prison near Danville. State Rep. Brent Yonts believes one of the main causes for this uprising was food. Right now, a private company, Aramark, provides the inmates meals, so he is proposing a bill that would put the state back in control.

"The bill basically says we de-privatize food services in our corrections program that was previously by state employees who cooked the meals, worked for the state and were under direct supervision of the state," explains Yonts.

He says it's not only the quality of the food that's the problem, but also the quantity.

"We've received reports and documentation of a lawsuit concerning human feces in burritos," says Yonts. Corrections Commissioner LaDonna Thompson says that's untrue, "What happened was they cooked food for a specific unit and what happened is it sat there it wasn't vented and it continued to cook and it just spoiled."

And she says food wasn't the main cause of the Northpoint riot.

"We used controlled movement to make sure everybody was safe, the inmate and the staff had said that led to the riot," explains Thompson.

If the state does de-privatize food, it would cost an extra $5 million a year but Yonts says money shouldn't be the issue.

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