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

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Nutraloaf: Cruel and Unusual Punishment?

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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.

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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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