Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

From the Editor

by Paul Wright

This month’s cover story is the latest installment on the prison profiteering industry monetizing how prisoners are fed. Perhaps not surprisingly, the cost of feeding prisoners is one of the lowest operating costs involved in caging people, with staffing being 80% or more of prison and jail budgets. The past 30 years have seen a race to the bottom of who can spend the least on feeding prisoners. This is a national issue and by no means restricted to systems that have privatized their food services. Indeed, we have previously reported on widespread corruption in the prison food industry with prison officials taking bribes to buy “distressed” (i.e., rotten) food products to feed prisoners.

It has been said that every country is three missed meals away from a revolution. Given the steadily and continuously declining state of prison food why do prisoners tolerate it? Prison commissaries taking up the slack by selling prisoners junk food at grossly inflated prices seems to be the main reason. One of the consequences of these horrific diets, especially for longer term prisoners, is the increased health care costs associated with the diabetes, hypertension and other medical issues caused by poor, innutritious diets fed to a captive population over an extended period of time. Yet no one in a position of power, whether prison and jail officials, legislators or the executive branch has any concerns about this.

This issue of PLN marks our 34th anniversary of continuous publishing. As we enter our 35th year of publishing we see increased challenges ahead. Among the latest efforts by prison officials to censor PLN and other publications is the push to digitize content. If your receipt of Prison Legal News or Criminal Legal News is being affected by digitization please contact us and let us know.

As part of our campaign against Stop Prison Profiteering, we continue to sue prison and jail debit card companies. If you have received a debit card from Rapid Financial Services where you were charged fees to access your own money after January 11, 2024 and would like to be a plaintiff to end such practices, please contact HRDC at the addresses on page 2 of this magazine. Likewise, if you have had your money taken by any debit card company and were issued a debit card and charged fees, we would like to hear from you.

I would like to thank our readers who send us the verdicts and settlements of the cases they win. We continue reporting them in PLN and CLN. If you file lawsuits against prisons and jails, please do not send us documentation on the cases, unless or until you obtain injunctive relief or settle or win the case at trial. Then please send us the complaint, rulings and settlement/verdict so we can report them in PLN and also post the documents on our website.

Enjoy this issue of PLN and please encourage others to subscribe.  

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login