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Un-Happy Meals in Kansas

On May 19, 1996, the Kansas DOC turned over the kitchens of all the prisons to Canteen Correctional Services (CCS), a private for-profit contractor. It is worth noting that despite the contract to feed the prisoners, prisoner labor is still required, and the prisoner kitchen workers are paid from 60¢ to $1.05 to do all of the dirty work, while the CCS employees receive big paychecks for a minimal amount of work.

The Warden, Michael A. Nelson, and his deputy nazis made a video and played it via the prison movie channel, asking that all prisoners be patient and cooperate with the staff during the transition, and what a wonderful program this was going to be.

The prisoners fell for his lies, and as a result we now have portion control. We lost the salad bar that prisoners fought for many years to obtain. We get small amounts of food, no more than the "Happy Meal" for kids served at McDonalds. We get one pack of salt & pepper, two slices of bread one pack of ketchup (if we have the 3 oz. hamburger w/fries). You get one napkin, etc. Get the picture?

Grown men are going hungry. Kansas has a large lifer population, and the majority of prisoners in Kansas are dirt poor! We are charged a one dollar administrative fee for bookkeeping each month. We are charged two dollars each time we submit a sick call or doctor slip. If the money is not on your books, your account is red tagged and they will deduct the money as soon as it hits your books, so buying food from commissary is harder still.

-- G.C., Kansas

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