Life may get a little more unpleasant for New York prisoners. NYC officials are currently working on a new plan that would ban junk food in jails.
Samantha Levine, spokeswoman for Mayor Bloomberg said:
“As part of the city’s anti-obesity work, we are continuously looking to appropriate steps to improve the food environment in city agencies.”
The Huffington Post reports that the new plan would ban items like soda, potato chips, candy bars, and other unhealthy items from being sold in prisons.
The NY Daily News reports that guards and prison officials aren’t too happy about a junk food ban.
One guard told the NY Daily News: “That’s crazy. They are not going to be happy,”
In addition to unhappy prisoners, the ban could also cost the state money. There are approximately 13,000 inmates in New York City Jails. Those inmates spend about $13 million a year on commissary items. The $13 million accounts for snacks, but also soap, shampoo, and toothpaste.
This isn’t the first time that New York has tried to makes its prisons healthier places. In 2003, the city banned cigarettes from prisons in an effort to cut down on medical costs. But the News reports that medical expenses have actually increased over the last five years. In 2007, the city spent $78 million on medical bills compared to $87 million in 2011.
Do you think junk food should be banned in jails? Will Snickers and Donuts become the new prison currency?