Appalling Prison and Jail Food Leaves Prisoners Hungry for Justice
by David M. Reutter, Gary Hunter & Brandon Sample
Prison food. The very words conjure images of unidentifiable mystery meat, chili-mac, watery oatmeal and creamed chipped beef – the latter being commonly, though not very appetizingly, known as “shit on a shingle” in jailhouse parlance.
Before someone goes to prison or jail, what they eat is usually taken for granted. But behind bars, food becomes a serious issue. With the trend towards privatizing prison food services, plus economic pressures on state and local governments, there are growing concerns as to whether prisoners are receiving nutritionally adequate diets.
When confronted with jail or prison cuisine, prisoners have only three options: eating what is served or buying overpriced food items from the institutional canteen or commissary, assuming they have sufficient funds, or stealing prison food and preparing it themselves. Most prisons and jails use a rotating menu for their meals, with the same foods being served on a regular cycle. Others plan meals according to whatever foodstuffs can be purchased at the lowest price.
Over the past decade, prison and jail officials have been turning to private for-profit companies to cut the cost of feeding prisoners. Leading the way in contracted food services is Philadelphia-based Aramark Correctional Services. Other prison food service firms include A’Viands Food & Services Management, ABL Management, and U.K.-based Compass Group’s Canteen Correctional Services and Trinity Services Group.
Alabama Sheriffs Pocket Meal Payments
The privatization of prison and jail food services began in Alabama. Over 70 years ago, Alabama passed a law that provided county sheriffs with $1.75 a day per jail prisoner to cover the cost of their meals. While the law went into effect in 1939, it is still in use today. Under that system, Alabama sheriffs are personally responsible for paying for prisoners’ food, but are allowed to keep any excess funds if they can feed prisoners for less than the payments they receive from the state.
Not surprisingly, this creates an incentive for sheriffs to skimp on the quality and quantity of meals served to prisoners. “Most of it is like powdered food and the portions are minimal in county jails,” said Rev. Kenneth Glasglow, who visits Alabama jails to register prisoners to vote. The practice has also led to legal problems.
Morgan County, Alabama Sheriff Greg Bartlett was jailed by federal authorities on January 8, 2009, after he admitted to pocketing over $200,000 allocated for meals for prisoners in the county jail. A federal judge found Bartlett had failed to provide the prisoners with “a nutritionally adequate diet.”
Prisoners Johnny Maynor and Anthony Murphree filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama over conditions at the Morgan County Jail. Maynor’s and Murphree’s complaints stemmed from violations of a previous Consent Decree that had been entered by the court on September 25, 2001. Pursuant to the decree, the county had agreed to serve nutritionally adequate meals to prisoners at the jail.
What the district court found was deplorable. For breakfast, prisoners received a serving of unsweetened grits or oatmeal, a slice of bread and half an egg or less. Lunch consisted of either two baloney sandwiches or two sandwiches with a dab of peanut butter, plus a small bag of corn chips. For dinner prisoners were served either chicken livers, meat patties or two hot dogs, either slaw or onions, beans or mixed vegetables, and a slice of bread.
Each meal was accompanied by weak tea or an unsweetened beverage. Milk was not provided, and prisoners received fruit only three or four times during the two-year period considered by the court. Salt, pepper and other condiments had to purchased from the jail’s commissary.
On one occasion, Bartlett and another sheriff paid $1,000 to split a tractor-trailer load of hot dogs. Bartlett then served the hot dogs “at each meal until they had been depleted,” the court emphasized.
The district court further noted that “During the relevant period, Sheriff Bartlett has deposited in excess of $200,000 into his personal account from the funds allocated to him by the State of Alabama and the federal government for the feeding of inmates.”
That was not illegal, because under Alabama’s 1939 law, sheriffs are allowed to keep any excess state funds provided to pay for prisoners’ food. Fifty-five counties in Alabama operate under this system, but Bartlett took the practice to an extreme level. “I was shocked by the amount of money he pocketed ... all while men and women in the jail go hungry,” stated Melanie Velez, with the Southern Center for Human Rights.
On January 7, 2009, the court concluded the sheriff had “contumaciously violated the Consent Decree,” specifically finding that Bartlett “makes money by failing to spend the allocated funds for food for the inmates.” The sheriff was arrested for contempt and incarcerated at the federal Talladega Correctional Facility. However, he was released the following day after meeting the court’s requirement to bring the jail up to the standards required under the Consent Decree. Among other things, Bartlett agreed to fire his nutritionist and to keep state funds in a separate account.
On January 21, 2009, Sheriff Bartlett filed a motion for a new trial or to alter or amend the judgment. The district court found his motion “frivolous,” and entered an order stating it was “unhesitatingly DENIED, in all respects.” See: Maynor v. Morgan County, U.S.D.C. (N.D. Ala.), Case No. 5:01-cv-00851-UWC.
Previously, in 2006, Mobile County, Alabama Sheriff Jack Tillman was charged with various criminal offenses related to illegally pocketing money meant for jail meals. Tillman, who resigned, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor perjury and ethics violations; he also agreed to repay $13,000 he had shifted from a food fund at the Mobile Metro Jail to his personal retirement account. [See: PLN, Aug. 2006, p.34].
A bill is presently pending in the Alabama legislature (HB 407) that would end the practice of letting county sheriffs keep excess state funds allocated to cover the cost of feeding jail prisoners. Although the state pays just $1.75 per day per prisoner, some sheriffs, including Bartlett and Tillman, managed to fatten their wallets on that meager amount.
Aramark Contracts Leave Unpleasant Aftertaste
Aramark provides food and commissary services at over 600 detention facilities nationwide, and according to its website serves over 1,000,000 meals a day. However, not all of those meals are well-received by prisoners – or by the prisons and jails that contract with the company. [See: PLN, Dec. 2006, p.10].
In April 2008, over 270 prisoners at Florida’s Santa Rosa Correctional Institution became sick after eating chili. Whether a matter of coincidence or a corporate practice to use leftovers to plan meals, in February 2008 up to fifty prisoners at Colorado’s Larimer County Detention Center also became sick after eating chili that had not been kept at the correct temperature.
Food services at both prisons were provided by Aramark, which believes its meals are the best thing since sliced bread. “It’s a tremendous piece of inmate happiness,” said Laurie Stolen, the inmate services director for Larimer County, who didn’t indicate whether she ate the food prepared at the facility.
Many prisoners who partake of Aramark meals, however, are not happy. “We used to get two slices of bread, then we got one. We only got half a scoop of vegetables instead of a full scoop,” said Angela Sewel, incarcerated at Wisconsin’s Taycheedah Correctional Institution, which contracts with Aramark. “They ran out of milk ... the soda was being watered down. They really cut back.”
Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County Jail contracted with Aramark until August 2007. When interviewed by a news reporter, one prisoner held up an orange slice of cheese and remarked, “I don’t think you could melt this with a blast furnace.” Other prisoners said things improved after a new contractor, Canteen, took over. “You can melt this cheese,” a prisoner said about Canteen’s fare.
In Clayton County, Georgia, prisoners went three months without hot food – from October 2009 to January 22, 2010 – after the pressure cookers in the jail’s kitchen went out. Most of the ovens and skillets were inoperable, too. Prisoners received cold pasta, bologna, cereal, sandwiches, fruit and hard-boiled eggs. “This is the fourth day I’ve had cold noodles,” said Clayton County jail prisoner Joquayla Perry, who was five weeks pregnant. “This is what we eat every day, and it’s nasty.”
“It’s still the same amount of portions. It’s just cold,” said food services manager Ricky Jordan, who presumably didn’t go three months without eating hot meals. Under Georgia law, prisoners are to receive at least two hot meals a day. The food service at the jail is provided by Aramark, which is paid $.82 for each meal served.
Prisoners in Macomb County, Michigan have also been eating cold food. A mold problem shut down the kitchen at the county jail, resulting in prisoners being served a steady diet of bologna and peanut butter sandwiches. On January 28, 2010, county officials allocated $1.7 million to renovate the jail’s kitchen, which is expected to take approximately 10 months. Bag lunches will be provided in the interim – ironically, at a higher cost. The jail’s food service is contracted out to Aramark.
The problems at the Clayton County and Macomb County jails appear to be part of a pattern or practice in which Aramark does not provide adequate maintenance for kitchen facilities and equipment. That pattern extends beyond the correctional context. In January 2009, Aramark agreed to a $1 million settlement with the Keller school district in Fort Worth, Texas. The school district alleged Aramark was guilty of “gross negligence,” and claimed the company did not “implement an effective system to prevent facilities and equipment from deteriorating or failing.”
Aramark announced in September 2008 that it was withdrawing from its contract with the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC), and Florida’s prison food services reverted to state control in January 2009. Aramark had been fined over $241,000 in 2008 alone for contract violations, including insufficient staffing.
“The outsourcing of food service operations has not met its stated objectives,” an in-house FDOC audit concluded. The audit found that canceling the Aramark contract “would save the state $7 million annually, while at the same time feeding more inmates.” Although another private company, U.S. Foodservices, Inc., currently provides food for FDOC facilities, meals are being prepared by prisoners under the supervision of state employees. [See: PLN, Oct. 2009, p.36].
In at least one case, Aramark is the dissatisfied contract partner. The company filed suit against Community Education Centers (CEC) in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania on February 18, 2010, claiming it was owed $7.3 million for providing food services at CEC’s privately-operated correctional facilities. According to Aramark, CEC has been in default on its payments since June 2008. CEC officials said the “companies are in negotiations regarding the matter.” See: Aramark v. CEC, U.S.D.C. (E.D. Penn.), Case No. 2:10-cv-00685-PBT.
Saving Money by Slashing Food Costs
Most prisons and jails already spend as little as possible on meals for prisoners. Regardless, some jurisdictions are targeting food services for further cuts due to the current economic crisis. It almost seems as if there is a competition to see how far food budgets can be slashed.
Thus, prisoners across the U.S. can look forward to losing weight as state and local governments balance their dwindling budgets by cutting back on the amount of food served in prisons and jails, and by providing cold instead of hot meals.
In Tennessee, a bill that would require only two meals a day for state prisoners was introduced by Senator Doug Jackson, who claimed the legislation was intended as a way to save money and not a form of punishment.
The bill was withdrawn from the State and Local Government Committee on March 3, 2010 after the Tennessee Dept. of Correction (TDOC) expressed concern that the two-meal-a-day plan might not meet prisoners’ nutritional needs. In 2009, the TDOC reduced the amount of milk served to prisoners from two servings a day to one as a cost-saving measure. Tennessee prisons already serve only two meals on Saturdays and Sundays.
Georgia’s state prison system has pared its prison menu to two meals a day on weekends, too. Lunch on Friday also was recently eliminated. Prison officials claim prisoners are still receiving the required amount of daily calories – 2,800 for men and 2,300 for women.
Prisoners’ family members and loved ones, however, have expressed serious concerns about the cutbacks. “I don’t know how the guys who don’t have someone on the outside helping out handle it,” said Barbara Helie, whose son is in Georgia’s Valdosta State Prison. “Food has been an ongoing issue for him ... he’s hungry a lot.”
Georgia officials justified the reduction in food by saying prisoners still get three meals a day on the days that they work. The prison system has altered its work week from five 8-hour days to four l0-hour days. Prisoners still work forty hours a week but receive fewer meals. Even with the change, the state is unsure if money is being saved.
What is sure is that reports of prisoner assaults increased dramatically in the Georgia DOC in 2009. Prison officials said the reduced diet was not the cause of the surge in violence, but offered no alternative explanation. It has been observed that every country is three missed meals away from revolution. This theory may well be tested in American prisons as meals are eliminated outright or curtailed.
“We don’t think this [elimination of lunch on Friday] is a good idea,” said Sara Totonchi, of the Southern Center for Human Rights. “It destabilizes things inside the prison and that is not good for any of the inmates or staff.”
Ohio is also preparing to cut back on meals for prisoners. State officials are considering the possibility of serving brunch instead of breakfast and lunch. It “could save us some real dollars when it comes to staffing and food costs,” said Ohio DOC director Terry Collins. He also opined that the change would not upset prisoners so long as food quality was not sacrificed.
Alabama has drastically cut the amount of milk and fresh fruit that prisoners receive. Milk was reduced from seven servings a week to three. Fruit was cut from two times a week to once. The state estimates cost savings of about $700,000.
Gordon Crews, a professor at West Virginia’s Marshall University, had a different prediction. “A lot of prisoners will see something like that as some kind of retribution against them or some kind of mistreatment,” he said. “It’ll be something that the correctional staff will pay the price for ... another reason [for prisoners] to argue and fight back.” Professor Crews, who authored a book on prison violence, said there is a connection between food-related problems and institutional unrest.
At the Linn County Jail in Oregon, prisoners can no longer expect a hot breakfast. Beginning on March 23, 2009, the county approved cold morning meals for the first time in two decades. The jail expects to save about $38,000 a year, mostly in food preparation time. Food service at the facility is provided by Aramark.
Breakfast fare will now include peanut butter bars, biscuits, hard-boiled eggs and fruit. “If they don’t like the food, they should stay out of jail,” said Sheriff Tim Mueller. “Then they can have steak and eggs or whatever they want.”
The Cook County Jail in Illinois is cutting food costs, too. Previously, breakfast was served to prisoners in their cells at 4:30 a.m., when most were still asleep. Uneaten food was thrown away and wasted. On March 18, 2010, it was reported that prisoners will be required to leave their cells as a group for breakfast; the reduced number of food trays prepared under the new policy will result in an estimated $1 million in annual savings.
Prisoners Removed from Jail Due to Inadequate Diet
In September 2009, U.S. Magistrate Judge Todd Campbell ordered the U.S. Marshals to remove a pre-trial detainee from a county jail in Tennessee after determining the facility had failed to provide a nutritionally adequate diet.
While being held at the Robertson County Jail on federal charges, Tellis Williams sent a letter to the district court complaining about insufficient nutrition, hygiene and medical care. “My ribs are visible, and I am constantly hungry!” he informed the court.
Over the government’s objections, Judge Campbell held a hearing concerning Williams’ allegations, finding that the court “had authority under the Bail Reform Act ... to make decisions regarding the detention or release of individuals awaiting trial and/or imposition or execution of sentence.” He also noted that poor conditions at the jail could affect Williams’ “ability to make a knowing, intelligent and voluntary decision to go to trial or enter a guilty plea,” because “harsh conditions can become a coercive force in the defendant’s decision about whether to accept” a plea agreement.
During five days of hearings in September 2009, Williams and other prisoners testified they were not fed enough and were “perpetually hungry.” Tellis weighed 149 lbs. at the time of the court hearing; he claimed he had lost 16 pounds. Prisoner Jonathan Stone said he lost approximately 100 pounds over 19 months. “No man should be treated like this or fed like this nowhere in America,” he complained.
Jail detainee Phillip Santiago testified that his weight dropped 28 pounds in nine months due to inadequate meals at the jail. “My son is 5 and he gets fed more than I do,” he stated. Another prisoner, William Trotter, said he had lost 30 pounds, observing “I can finish my oatmeal and grits in five spoons.”
Government officials attempted to defend the jail’s dietary practices, using witness testimony and arguing that the facility’s menu provided at least 2,700 calories a day. However, the menu was not regularly followed, the district court concluded.
The government also contended that any weight loss suffered by the prisoners was “healthy.” But Judge Campbell said he was “not persuaded that a mandatory weight reduction plan for overweight inmates is a legitimate penological objective for the jail.”
Finally, the government argued that Williams’ complaints were unfounded because the jail had been certified by the Tennessee Corrections Institute (TCI). The TCI representative who testified at the hearing, though, said he had not looked at the quantity of food served to prisoners, and admitted the TCI did not have the manpower to monitor jails that closely.
Based largely on evidence that prisoners were losing weight, Judge Campbell ordered Williams moved to another facility “to ensure that he does not experience any further weight loss.” Judge Campbell declined to address Williams’ other complaints in light of his order that Williams be transferred. See: United States v. Williams, U.S.D.C. (M.D. Tenn.), Case No. 3:09-cr-00090.
In addition to Williams, several other federal pre-trial detainees were removed from the Robertson County Jail due to dietary problems. “The food is not enough. I’m always hungry all the time,” said prisoner Reza Koushkbaghi, who lost 10 pounds in two months at the jail. He was later released on bond, while three other federal detainees were transferred to a different facility on December 10, 2009.
“Jail is not supposed to be a hotel, that’s true,” stated criminal defense attorney G. Kerry Haymaker. “That being said, [some of] these people haven’t been convicted of anything and these are the conditions they’ve been subjected to.”
The food service at the Robertson County Jail is provided by ABL Management, a Louisiana-based company that is paid $1.13 to $1.24 per meal per prisoner. An ABL dietician, Babette Lanius, who was not licensed to practice in Tennessee, testified at a hearing before Judge Campbell that meals at the jail provided adequate nutrition.
However, Jane Green, a clinical dietitian at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, disagreed. “The [calorie] numbers ... they just don’t quite make sense,” she said. “[T]here are discrepancies in nutritional values.”
ABL also provides food services at the Criminal Justice Center in Nashville, Tennessee, where the company has been the target of complaints and at least two lawsuits filed by prisoners at that facility.
As for Williams, he will likely find that the food is better in Bureau of Prisons facilities compared to what he received at the Robertson County Jail. On December 7, 2009, he was sentenced to 168 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to a charge of armed bank robbery.
Food Contracts, Poor Food Lead to Corruption
In September 2008, the president of Dallas, Texas-based Mid-America Services, Inc. pleaded guilty in a criminal prosecution that accused him of bribing former Potter County Sheriff Michael C. Shumate. Mid-America was fined $100,000, while the company’s president, Robert W. Austin, Jr., was sentenced to two years probation, a $4,000 fine and 80 hours of community service. Shumate was convicted of engaging in organized criminal activity in June 2008 and removed from office. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail, a $5,000 fine and eight years on probation.
The criminal charges were filed following a two-year FBI investigation. Mid-America provided food services for several Texas jails, including Potter, Lubbock and Tarrant Counties, and company officials were accused of paying bribes to obtain food service contracts.
According to the Texas Attorney General’s office, “Evidence obtained by the FBI indicated that Shumate and Austin were engaged in an illegal scheme to ensure Mid-America was awarded and retained the county’s jail food service and commissary contracts.” The bribes provided to Shumate included “cash and checks, out-of-state trips, laptop computers, meals, clothing and other items of value.”
Even after the guilty pleas, Potter County continued to contract with Mid-America for jail food services. “This conviction doesn’t have to do with the provision of food, per se,” said Assistant County Attorney Dave Kemp. “I kind of doubt there is a way to get rid of the contract.” That wasn’t the case in Lubbock County, which found its association with Mid-America distasteful and canceled its jail food contract with the company on September 22, 2008.
Sometimes the food in prisons and jails is so bad that prisoners will go to extreme – and expensive – lengths to obtain something decent to eat. In February 2006, Wayne County, Michigan jail guard Dorian J. Merriewether pleaded guilty to accepting $1,200 in bribes to smuggle food and beverages to a prisoner at the jail. He also smuggled food, a cell phone and tennis shoes to another prisoner in exchange for several hundred dollars and a $4,000 plasma TV. The contraband food items included three corned beef sandwiches, two bottles of cognac and a pound of shrimp.
However, the district court found that Merriewether’s conduct did not violate federal law under the Hobbs Act, and declined to accept his plea bargain. The charges were later dismissed. See: United States v. Merriewether, U.S.D.C. (E.D. Mich.), Case No. 2:06-cr-20001.
Merriewether was indicted again in April 2007, on eight counts of smuggling cocaine and marijuana into the jail. Those charges stuck; he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 months probation and a $2,500 fine on November 15, 2007.
Another Wayne County jail employee, Michelle Wilson, had accepted $400 for helping Merriewether smuggle food to prisoners. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years probation and 50 hours of community service.
As extensively reported in PLN, the largest prison food-related fiasco that led to criminal prosecutions was the VitaPro scandal in the Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) in the mid-1990s. An investigation into the TDCJ’s $33.7 million contract to purchase tons of VitaPro, a powdery soy-based food supplement produced by a Canadian company run by an ex-prisoner, resulted in the 1998 indictment of former TDCJ director James A. “Andy” Collins. Collins, who was accused of receiving $20,000 in consulting fees from VitaPro Foods, was convicted in August 2001 on federal bribery charges, as was VitaPro president Yank Barry. However, their convictions were reversed by the district court in 2005, and they were acquitted in a 2008 retrial.
The Texas Supreme Court had invalidated the TDCJ’s VitaPro contract in 1999, but not before Texas state prisoners had been served the largely inedible food product for years, complaining that it caused diarrhea, skin rashes and other health ailments. [See: PLN, May 1996, p.8; Aug. 1996, p.18; July 1998, p.12; July 2000, p.13; July 2006, p.34; Sept. 2008, p.27].
It’s Not All Bad News and Bad Food
Food is finding a different niche in Boston’s Suffolk County House of Correction for Women, where a three-year $950,000 grant has been used to teach women prisoners how to prepare and eat healthier meals.
The women learn about different types of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. They fill out worksheets and study nutrition labels. “The core objective of our program is instilling a sense of empowerment and to build their sense of self-esteem,” said program director Christina Ruccio.
Almost all of the students pointed out that the nutritional diets they were learning about were not available at the Suffolk County jail. Much of what the prisoners study “will be more applicable when you get out,” instructor Abby Dunn told her students, who also learn about stress-reduction, exercise and other health-related topics.
On February 26, 2010, a U.S. District Court in Ohio ordered the state’s juvenile detention system to change its practice of withholding food from prisoners. The meal refusal policy at juvenile facilities had been changed in August 2009 to discontinue the practice of delivering food to offenders who didn’t go to the cafeteria for meals.
Some prisoners stayed in their cells during meal times because they feared being physically or sexually assaulted by other prisoners. “These youths were allegedly required to remain on their unit when the rest of the youth on their unit went to eat; and as a result there were youths that were not receiving food and not eating,” the court found.
Over a six-month period from September 2009 through February 2010, prisoners at Ohio juvenile facilities were denied more than 2,200 meals after they refused to go to the cafeteria. The district court held the new meal refusal policy didn’t take into account the juveniles’ health and safety, and ordered that prisoners who did not report for meals still must be fed.
A spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Youth Services said the agency “... has not and does not withhold food for punishment, and youth have not missed more than two consecutive meals pursuant to the protocol, and DYS’ meal protocol has in no way compromised the health or safety of any youth.” Officials said most of the meal refusals were by prisoners who wanted to sleep in at breakfast time.
The juvenile offenders were represented by civil rights attorney Al Gerhardstein, who is counsel in a class-action lawsuit concerning conditions in Ohio juvenile facilities. See: S.H. v. Stickrath, U.S.D.C. (S.D. Ohio), Case No. 2:04-cv-01206-ALM-TPK.
Many prisoners wish they had the privileges afforded to detainees at the jail in Bexar County, Texas. Beginning in March 2010, jail prisoners will be allowed to order meals from outside the facility through Aramark’s ICare program. In exchange, ICare will give the county almost a third of its income. “It’s a privilege that we provide the inmates provided that they follow all the rules,” stated Sheriff Armado Ortiz.
But it’s an expensive privilege – a cheeseburger and fries will cost about $9.00. The jail will only allow prisoners to order outside food a few times a week, and like other privileges the program can be withdrawn due to misconduct.
“I know there’s going to be some resentment from the general public,” said Ortiz. “They say inmates should not be given such privileges, but we need to keep in mind that the majority of the people in this jail are waiting to go to court; they haven’t been convicted of any crime.”
That sentiment is routinely ignored by most corrections officials and politicians, who believe if prisoners don’t like the food they shouldn’t break the law. However, this get-tough mindset disregards a few relevant factors; for example, why should pre-trial detainees be subjected to substandard, cold or paltry meals when they haven’t been convicted and are (in theory) presumed innocent?
Additionally, prisoners have few options other than eating the food they are served; thus, prisons and jails are responsible for providing sufficient, nutritious diets. Food is a basic necessity and failure to provide adequate meals can lead to health-related problems or even violence by hungry and frustrated prisoners.
In many cases, though, providing decent prison and jail food is an unappetizing prospect for government officials, who are increasingly cutting costs at the expense of prisoners’ waistlines. Which is an unhealthy practice that is hard to stomach.
Note: Also see two separate food-related articles in this issue of PLN, “Illinois Prisoners Sue over Soy-Based Food” and “Food Problems Contribute to Riot at Kentucky Prison.”
Sources: St. Petersburg Times, Palm Beach Post, Oakland Tribune, The Coloradoan, Associated Press, Post-Gazette, JSOnline, Commercial Appeal, Boston Globe, www.timesnews.net, www.philly.com, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Detroit News, Toledo Blade, www2.nbc4i.com, www.kens5.com, http://thebrandeishoot.com, Dallas Morning News, Dothan Eagle, CNN, Tennessean, www.wsmv.com