Cuts Bite into Prison Food Budgets - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Cuts Bite into Prison Food Budgets

Texas prison system cutting jobs, desserts



    Cuts Bite into Prison Food Budgets

    by Bruce Felps

    While law-abiding citizens face a little pain April 15, inmates in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice system face a few extra hardships of their own.

    Budget cuts caused the prison system to take some cost-reducing measures starting tax day, and a few hit the prisoners at the dinner table.

    They’ll each receive but one dessert a week rather than the two now served, and that is just cruel and unusual. Hamburger patties and hot dog wieners will get slapped on slices of bread rather than buns, the poor babies, and powered milk replaces carton cow juice.

    A Dallas Morning News article didn’t mention the dollar total of the cuts, but the 555 eliminated jobs provide at least a hint. The cut jobs come from the “non-guard” ranks, but Mike Gross of the Texas State Employees Union said the loss of some workers who “help inmates nearing their release dates” with, uh, something could imperil public safety.

    Sounds like good union spiel making a veiled threat hinting a public danger if union jobs are lost.

    Some of the axed jobs are vacant, according to Michelle Lyons, a spokeswoman for the department, but how do you save money by eliminating a job for which no one was employed or paid?

    Bruce Felps owns and operatesEast Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. Even with these cost-cutting measures the prisoners will eat better than he does.