Nutraloaf: Cruel and Unusual Punishment? | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Nutraloaf: Cruel and Unusual Punishment? 

Published March 25, 2008 at 8:51 a.m.

When prisoners in Vermont poop on their plates and throw it at prison guards, the guards fight back by feeding them nutraloaf. But a group of prisoners is suing the state to stop that practice, because nutraloaf is gross.

From the AP on Sunday:

OnMonday, the Vermont Supreme Court will hear arguments in a class actionsuit brought by inmates who say [nutraloaf is] not food but punishment and thatanyone subjected to it should get a formal disciplinary process first.

Prison officials see nutraloaf as a tool for behavior modification.

"It'scommonplace in other states as a way of providing nutrition in amechanism that dissuades inmates from throwing feces, urine, trays andsilverware," said Vermont Corrections Commissioner Rob Hofmann.


Seth Lipschutz, an attorney with Vermont's Prisoner's Rights office,says the state has a legitimate interest in changing the behavior ofinmates who misbehave.

But he says a diet of nutraloaf ispunishment, plain and simple. To call it anything else is "playing withwords to get what they want. It's wrong and it's sad," Lipschutz said.

Ok, I agree that it's weird that the state is using food as punishment, but is nutraloaf really that bad?

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About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Deputy publisher Cathy Resmer is an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam. She also oversees Seven Days' parenting publication, Kids VT, and created the Good Citizen Challenge, a youth civics initiative. Resmer began her career at Seven Days as a freelance writer in 2001. Hired as a staff writer in 2005, she became the publication's first online editor in 2007.


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