Indiana's LaPorte County Jail is starting a new program that will allow inmates to order pizza as a reward for good behavior. Fusion reports that this major upgrade to the lackluster meals currently offered at the jail will include a variety of takeout, like Chinese food and hot sandwiches. However, the meals will be paid for out of money deposited to the inmates' commissary accounts, not by the jail. The program has limits: It will be available only once a month for those who have maintained good behavior over several weeks.
While some pranksters have already attempted to order pizza while under arrest, this new plan will be available only to any of LaPorte County's 300 or so offenders (most awaiting trial) displaying exemplary behavior. County sheriff John Boyd explains to The Times of Northwest Indiana, "They are human beings and if it improves their behavior a little bit, it makes our jail a safer place."
While this move may seem bold, LaPorte won't be the first jail in Indiana to give inmates takeout privileges. Indiana State Prison has been following a similar program for the past 20 years and has often used it as a way to raise money for local charities by hiking up the prices and using the profits as donations, according to The Times of Northwest Indiana. Anywhere between 800 and 1,200 prisoners are fed the bonus meals about 10 times a year, in addition to their regular dinners. This is the program Boyd and the rest of the staff at Laporte County Jail modeled their initiative after.
For those who have negative opinions of the proposed idea, Boyd says, "I don't know how anyone can complain about that, especially [since] it's not costing our taxpayers any money whatsoever." While the program was initially set to begin on June 1, the start date has been pushed back in order to ensure all proper precautions are being met.