Sounds soy delicious! Sheriff Arpaio's Thanksgiving treat for inmates is 24cent Tofurkey casserole
- The Thanksgiving meal for inmates in the Maricopa County Jail system will cost just 54 cents per serving
- There will be no real turkey served, after Sheriff Joe Arpaio turned the prison system vegetarian last September
- By eliminating meat from meals, Arpaio estimates that he will save $100,000 a year on food costs
- Other prisons and jails are being more generous to their inmates, serving real turkeys, cranberry sauce and pumpkin desserts
Being away from family is hard during the holidays, but it's even worse when your behind bars - especially in Arizona's Maricopa County Jail.
The jail system there is run by Joe Arapaio, the self-titled 'toughest sheriff' in America, who bragged yesterday on Twitter about creating a Thanksgiving menu that comes in at just 56 cents per inmate.
'Thanksgiving menu is all set! Hope the inmates give thanks for this meal being served in the jails tomorrow,' he tweeted.
Tofurkey: Inmates in the Maricopa County jail system won't need to worry about any tryptophan induced nap after dinner tonight as there's no real turkey in their Thanksgiving meal
'Thankful' might not be the right term for what inmates feel when they get their plates today, assuming they've all had and enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
The bottom line: The austere Thanksgiving meal is just the latest cost-cutting effort from Sheriff Arpaio, who eliminated meat altogether from meals last September
Last September, in his latest attempt to pinch pennies, Arpaio forced vegetarianism on all 7,500-10,000 of the inmates in order to save an estimated $100,000 in food costs.
So they won't be getting the traditional turkey today, or stuffing or pumpkin pie.
Instead they'll be eating a 24 cent turkey soy casserole with sides of mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, fresh fruit, and a dinner roll.
Thanks to a generous donor, they'll also get to eat brownies for dessert. It's not pumpkin pie, but hey - lawbreakers can't be choosers.
Arpaio's Thanksgiving menu is just the latest in his ever-obsessive whittling down of inmate food costs.
In addition to eliminating meat altogether, Arpaio also cut back to just two meals a day to save money on food delivery.
He also proposed in March to start charging inmates $1 dollar for each of their meals.
'Everybody has to pay for their food, why should [inmates] get freebies?' he told ABC15.
Now, Arpaio serves some of 'the cheapest meals in the U.S.' and even eliminated salt and pepper to make the average meal 15-40 cents per inmate.
But Arpaio's meal is largely the exception when it comes to feeding inmates during the holidays.
The Clark County Jail in Oregon will be serving their inmates a traditional feast of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls and pumpkin pudding.
Cutting costs: Inmates at the Maricopa County Jail get just two meals a day that cost on average 15-40 cents per person
Traditions: Other prisons are opting for a more traditional - and more expensive - Thanksgiving meal for their inmates. The Clark County Jail meal will be four times as expensive and will have real turkey breast. Above, a picture of Arpaio's jail
While it will cost nearly four times as much as Arpaio's meal, prison administrators think its worth it to be sympathetic to prisoners on the holidays.
'Holidays are a touch time for inmates,' Joe Loftgren, food services manager at the jail told the Columbian. He says that although they've made mistakes, the inmates are 'still human beings; we treat them as people'.
'A good meal lowers the tension, lowers that holiday stress,' Mr Loftgren added. 'We want to do something so they know there are people out there who still care about them.'¬†
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