On an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians from last year (yes I'm going there), Kim Kardashian spilled a little tale about how her husband Kanye West handled a night in jail after he was arrested for smashing a paparazzo's camera.
"You know you get to make one call in jail?" she recounted to stepbrother Brody Jenner. "So, he called Mr. Chow's and ordered [Chinese] takeout to jail."
If you've spent so much as an hour in state custody, you understand the urge. Cardboard bread served with a slab of old bologna can suck the soul out of you with just one serving.
Earlier this week, the LaPorte County Jail in Indiana announced that it is in the process of starting a program that will allow inmates to order takeout. The county sheriff John Boyd (bless his soul) says the program is meant to reward good behavior.
"They are human beings and if it improves their behavior a little bit, it makes our jail a safer place," he told the Times of Northwest Indiana.
The program was actually supposed to start on June 1, but Boyd told the paper it needed more time to eliminate security risks, a worry no doubt heightened after this weekend's New York prison break garnered international attention. "We want to make sure there is no possibility of any contraband coming in," he said.
Whenever it does finally happen, the inmates will be able to order takeout once a month, using funds from their commissary. "Non-gourmet" foods not offered by the prison like pizza and hot sandwiches (and, yes, Chinese takeout) will be available to order.
The concept is not new. The Indiana State Prison has apparently been running one of the programs for close to 20 years now, and it is being used as the model for the LaPorte program.
Proceeds from that program, which marks up the regular customer prices for inmates, are used to raise money for charities and do other things like buy inmates candy for the holidays, Sheriff Boyd told the paper. He said that the program is labor intensive because of all the security, but taxpayers shouldn't worry about paying more for the program.
"It's very important to me that we're not increasing our budget," said Boyd, adding that several nearby restaurants have been approached about participating in the program.
Daniel Rivero is a producer/reporter for Fusion who focuses on police and justice issues. He also skateboards, does a bunch of arts related things on his off time, and likes Cuban coffee.