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Kiriakou writes: "Three state prisoners in Oregon have filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court against four of the state's prisons, saying that they were forced to eat fish and chicken intended to be animal feed or 'bait food,' as well as spoiled milk and other moldy, rotten or inedible food. The suit accuses the Department of Corrections of civil rights violations and 'deliberate indifference to health and safety.'"

John Kiriakou. (photo: The Washington Post)
John Kiriakou. (photo: The Washington Post)

Maggots on Prison Food Is Crime on Crime

By John Kiriakou, Reader Supported News

27 November 17


hree state prisoners in Oregon have filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court against four of the state’s prisons, saying that they were forced to eat fish and chicken intended to be animal feed or “bait food,” as well as spoiled milk and other moldy, rotten or inedible food. The suit accuses the Department of Corrections of civil rights violations and “deliberate indifference to health and safety.”

The three state prisoners, who were granted class-action status to represent all prisoners in the four accused prisons, told the court that immediately prior to state health inspections, prison administrators directed them to clean up kitchens and to remove “not for human consumption” food, green meat, and moldy, spoiled food to mobile refrigerator and freezer trucks elsewhere on the compound, only to return the food to the kitchen after the inspection was over. One of the prisoners said she witnessed the delivery of food marked “not for human consumption” being prepared and served to her and her fellow prisoners. In stark contrast, she said, she was ordered to prepare “prime beef roasts” for prison staff.

The complaint says that prisoners were often nauseated during and after meals and that they suffered stomach and intestinal pain and discomfort. The prisoners are seeking unspecified economic and non-economic damages, including punitive damages.

The unfortunate aspect of this story is that this is the norm, not the exception. Aramark, the well-known food service company that was named one of the most ethical companies in the world in 2015, nonetheless was sued and sanctioned repeatedly that year for, among other things, serving prisoners food that had been thrown in the trash; serving prisoners food that had been covered in maggots; and serving prisoners cake that had been partially eaten by rats. When confronted with the reports, an Aramark spokesman said, “I’m not going to comment on an allegation from eight months ago that is one of hundreds of allegations made by special-interest groups against our company and our hardworking employees.”

Similarly, in what it described as “an unfortunate accident,” John Soules Foods Incorporated, which calls itself “America’s Leading Fajita Brand” on its website, served dog food to prisoners in Texas that it says it had accidentally labeled as “ground beef.” After the Food and Drug Administration investigated the company over the course of six years, it admitted guilt, paid a fine to the U.S. Treasury of $392,000, and promised to be more careful next time. There were no criminal charges against anybody, and no restitution of any kind was made to the prisoners, one of whom mused that the scandal of the situation wasn’t even that they were fed dog food — it was that they didn’t even realize it was dog food because the food is so bad to begin with.

I wrote in my “Letters from Loretto” blog series from prison about my first Friday lunch in the prison cafeteria. My first full day in prison was a Friday. One of my cellmates said that Friday was fish day, to which I replied, “Great. I love fish.” He looked at me and said, “Not this fish. Nobody eats it. You shouldn’t either.” I went to the cafeteria and got in line. When I approached the serving line, I saw the boxes that had held the fish stacked up. They were clearly marked, “Not for Human Consumption. Feed Use Only.” Others were stamped “Alaskan Cod. Product of China. For Sale in Asia Only.” I never tried the fish in my two years in prison.

There’s no easy fix to this problem. Let’s face it: There’s no “prisoner lobby” on Capitol Hill. Most American voters don’t care if prisoners eat food that had first been nibbled by rats. Everybody wants to “get tough on crime,” right? The only solution is to do what the Oregon prisoners did. Sue the bastards. Organizations like the Human Rights Defense Center and the American Civil Liberties Union have been dogged in doing just that. And they’ve been moderately successful. The bottom line is that prison administrators will always try to cut costs, and those cuts almost always come in medical care and food. Similarly, private, for-profit prison executives do exactly the same thing so they can deliver savings to their shareholders and collect bonuses for themselves. The rest of us have to fight for the rights of those who can’t defend themselves. The courts are the only places to do that.

John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act - a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration's torture program.

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+12 # krazykwiltkatt 2017-11-27 17:52
'Orange Is The New Black' Not just a TV program. Watch it. Because what is coming if the Repubs get their way may put you there.
+22 # Wise woman 2017-11-27 23:02
Is no one minding the store when these food stuffs are brought into the prisons? I think we've sunk lower than the inmates themselves. This is definitely not the way to remediate prisoners. The whole system stinks and needs to be revamped by people who are not psychopaths themselves which I think most of the guards and administration are.
+21 # jimmythelark 2017-11-28 06:31
PLEASE continue to write more about your experiences YOU ARE A BRAVE SOUL- your experiences with our legal system , working for our government , being incarcerated unjustly Hell !! write a book about your life "EXPERIENCES" Thanks for telling the TRUTH!!
+18 # ddd-rrr 2017-11-28 07:02
Thanks, John Kiriakou and RSN, for bringing this issue (disgusting as it is!) to light!
And, thanks to those who are legally challenging this atrocious practice.
I hope you are successful, and that this practice may be
sufficiently discouraged to cause
its end!
+6 # Robbee 2017-11-28 09:05
Quoting ddd-rrr:
thanks to those who are legally challenging this atrocious practice.

- fraud is xrime

wire fraud, uaing phone and/or internet lines to feed animal feed or “bait food” to humans is racketeering

the aclu or national lawyer's guild should sue food service and prison authorities under rico - is this being done, a/k/a "pending"? if not, john, why not?
+10 # Allears 2017-11-28 08:56
The rich must be cruel to get and stay rich.The imprisonment of so many in the US and the way prisoners are treated, is an example of this cruelty. American top dogs continue their stealth war against humanity.Richar d Melon Scaife, their chief confessor:"The main reason rich people feel guilty is that the schools teach them they should."This logic against compassion, necessary to justify the damage done, is what underpins the subterfuge of the far right, which the US constitution enables with its tax-forgiving, money-shelterin g, 'private foundation' charter.Theodor e Roosevelt in opposition to this sort of idea,"No amount of charity in spending such fortunes can compensate in any way for the misconduct in acquiring them."This single-minded pursuit of self-interest,c amouflaged in the rhetoric of faith (in survival of the fittest),family (nuclear only),and freedom(to pillage and plunder),can now ramp up and if it continues, will result in its penultimate resolution. Scaife, after his one-time bid for the presidency,sett led on fighting his war for power with subterfuge, using his inherited fortune to set up the Big Lie indoctrination of the Heritage Foundation(whos e heritage?) which has grown like cancer in the fields of education, religion, media, science and justice. The far right,anarchist s in disguise-a veneer they have created as successfully as any Communist indoctrination program-now have their own crowned King of Cruelty and Lies.*quotes:Da rkMoney,Jane Mayer
+8 # vilstef 2017-11-29 05:06
The prison industrial complex is indeed crime on crime. The 'genius suits' who run it should be in orange jumpsuits themselves. Don't expect this anytime soon under corrupt lawmakers, particularly lawnorder Republicans.

(Of course they love lawnorder-they don't want any of us peasants walking on their grass.)
+4 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-11-29 06:43
There are so many things "broken" in American society that it is hard to begin to talk about them. The US criminal justice system all the way from the cops on the street to the prison industrial complex is totally broken. It would take a few decades to fix it, since it took a century or more for it to become this corrupt, racist and cruel. But what is congress doing with its time? Of course, it is investigating silly and unimportant things like a few adverts on Facebook or Twitter that might have been placed by Russians. Russiagate is a historic distraction from what is really wrong with America. It lets everyone who has been charges with the power to do something off the hook. Now they can posture in front of the TV cameras and do nothing.

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