Washington state inmates on hunger strike over muffins for breakfast

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From Seattle Times: After years of getting cold muffins for breakfast, inmates at the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center are refusing meals in protest.

Offenders at Coyote Ridge, which is in Connell, Franklin County, and houses approximately 2,065, have skipped meals out of frustration over a range of issues, primarily the quality of their food. The strike began Feb. 1 and continued through at least Monday afternoon.

It’s the second time in a year that Washington prisoners have protested over food quality, raising concerns that the unrest could continue to simmer — or escalate.

The hunger strikes have highlighted the fact that the state Department of Corrections (DOC) has not fully complied with Gov. Jay Inslee’s 2013 executive order to promote healthful food at state facilities.

The action at Coyote Ridge — and a strike last year at Walla Walla’s Washington State Penitentiary — could also be a key early test of the state’s new state Office of Corrections Ombuds. The Legislature and Inslee authorized that position last year to provide some independent oversight of the DOC.

Joanna Carns, director of that office, has made food issues an early priority. After last year’s meal strike, her office has partnered with the DOC to survey the inmates at the Washington State Penitentiary about food.

“While it might not be immediately apparent to the outside person, food is actually a critical issue in corrections, and is one of the things that will lead inmates to riot,” Carns said.

At the request of the DOC, Inslee has included $2.78 million in his proposed new two-year state operating budget to bring back hot breakfasts to Coyote Ridge, Washington State Penitentiary and three other prisons, which all moved to cold breakfasts in recent years.

Read the whole story here.


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16 responses to “Washington state inmates on hunger strike over muffins for breakfast

  1. Then let them eat bread, instead of cake.

  2. Nanynany nana, Who gives a flying duck? They have it made in the slammer, food, room and board and they cry over muffins for breakfast? Serve’m a cement brick, that oughta grind the ir teeth. They got to pay for the crime committed.

  3. Is prison to punish or rehabilitate? Yes, life shouldn’t be easy nor should the steak be prime but what is the quality of food? Yes some should be there for life but I was in prison and you visited me.

    • “Is prison to punish or rehabilitate?”

      Both. Yet you cannot totally control the rehabilitation portion because of free will. WA DOC offers many, many, many programs to rehabilitate. And they employ many, many, many staff to work with inmates to help guide them through corrective actions to change behaviors.

      WA state’s recidivism rate is around 32%. Don’t know how that compares w/other states.

  4. I always have to consider how many are there falsely. Beyond that, whatever the treatment it should be a measure of who we are as a society. It isn’t supposed to be torture.

    I would think that they would have a nutritionist who planned the meals. Besides that, maybe things like this are an opportunity to look at how we do things. Is prison the right answer for EVERYTHING. Per capita we are the most incarcerated nation on earth, that includes Communist China.

    That alone should make us think. We are supposed to be removing these people because they are dangerous. For the less dangerous it is supposed to be a deterrent. It never was, nor should it be, a form of “punishment” based on the severity of the alleged crime.

    If they are dangerous they should NEVER get out. If they aren’t, maybe there are other things we could do with them. Maybe they could build and repair border walls or something.

    • I wouldn’t call muffin breakfasts “torture.”

      Here’s plan menus by the firm servicing DOC: https://www.washingtonci.com/skin/frontend/WACI/primary/docs/content/products-services/ci-foods/jail-menu-plan.pdf

      Correctional Industries was slammed in a report re: their food offerings. Gov. Inslee vowed to correct this and spend more money. They know food is a hot topic with the inmates.

      Prison reform is a very complicated subject. I know it’s not working as it should be…maybe that’s because it’s government run? We all know what a great job bureaucrats do at solving problems!

      • I didn’t. I wasn’t referring to “muffins” or even this particular situation. I was referring to how we do prison stuff generally. Merely having that many inmates means something’s wrong all by itself.

        I’m not worried about “muffins”, in fact I’d like one right now. Now, baloney sandwiches get old…..!

    • I agree. If by cold muffins it’s meant right out of the freezers, then it’s wanton cruelty barring some compelling explanation. Even for the everyday guilty ones, being thrown in with sadomasochistic homosexual psychopaths allowed to organize into predatory ethnic gangs brutalizing mainly whites is wanton cruelty.

      In Tsarist Russia 160 years ago, as Dostoyevsky first-hand reports in ‘House of the Dead’, prisoners were worked hard but otherwise drank too much vodka, smoked, gambled, made tea with their own samovars, while the local townspeople brought in fancy meals during the holidays. Overall it was horrible, but the men quickly sorted themselves out into recognizable types and behaviors from the outside. Overall, I’d say that was at least a life, unlike caging men or even women like dogs in America’s prisons, many times doing slave assembly work to profit the ghouls running prisons for money.

  5. Barry Blows Crackers


  6. OK, hold the muffins and serve them some room temperature gruel.

    Besides, some of those inmates should be released and replaced with any number of politicians that we all could name.

  7. They’re used to jamming all sorts of contraband up their butts,ie shivs, drugs, cellphones, etc. Let them jam a muffin up their butts to warm it. Fixed it.

  8. They are eating the exact same thing our “free breakfast and lunch” kids are getting from the government at school. My school kids didn’t kill anyone, steal from anyone, commit battery upon anyone, etc etc. in order to “earn” this “free” meal. Perhaps all those disgruntled no-account convicted criminals in those prisons can send their muffins to our school kids for breakfast and we can avoid this sort of double-billing for the freebies in our country and our school kids will still start the day with something in their stomachs and the convicts can just eat crow.

  9. Simple solution… Don’t be a criminal… I read the 4 week menu… Is it something I would want to eat… No… I have eaten institutional food in the past and it ain’t home cooking. I was glad to have the food though because hungry is not a good condition to live life in. If your poor little ass feels muffins are not what you want for breakfast….


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