Saturday, October 17, 2009

Conservatives' Big Coup: No Pop for Prisoners

Posted By on Sat, Oct 17, 2009 at 11:23 PM

The conservative group Common Sense for Oregon is preening itself over a major victory: It’s gotten free soda pop taken away from Oregon prison inmates.

Common Sense jumped on the issue when it found out that prisoners were allowed to have free soda pop with their meals. “In May, Common Sense handed the Department of Corrections a Golden Fleece award when it was discovered that approximately $773,000 of the department’s budget was allocated for free soda pop at meal times at the expense of the taxpayers — an amount equivalent to putting three additional state troopers on patrol for two years,” reports the Oregon Catalyst blog. 

“That's right, the Oregon Department of Corrections spent $773,000 on free soda pop for prisoners,” Common Sense wrote when it awarded the Golden Fleece. “While Oregon schools are cutting days, murderers, rapists and other violent criminals are enjoying the Coke, Pepsi and Mountain Dew thanks to your tax dollars.”

Makes your blood boil, doesn’t it? What’s next – Dom Perignon and pate de foie gras?

But thanks to Common Sense, starting Dec. 31 prisoners will get tea with their meals instead of soda pop, unless they pay for the soda. The Department of Corrections thinks this will be healthier for the inmates (less sugar) as well as saving money.

But the state could save even more money if instead of tea it provided only a cup of cold water. And it could save still more if it stopped serving prisoners meals at all and just threw a moldy crust of bread into their cells three times a day. (Well, maybe also a moldy slice of fruitcake on Christmas.)

This outrageous pampering of Oregon prisoners with “tea” and “meals” at taxpayer expense has got to stop. Common Sense, what are you waiting for?


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