Safe Senior Chat Rooms Online & Over 50s Chatting Site › Forums › Writer’s Club › Doin’ Time Chatper #14 ~The Sage of the Nutri Loaf…and other pointless inmate behavior~
MemberAugust 16, 2011 at 4:22 pm
THE SAGA OF THE NUTRI-LOAF
(And Other Pointless Inmate Behavior)
It has been a hotly debated topic in Arizona over the years as to who actually came up with the substance known as “Nutri-Loaf”. Our Sheriff, here in Yavapai County, claimed he was the inventor while the infamous Sheriff of Maricopa County insists the recipe was actually his. I do believe the truth is out there, but I doubt it will ever been known for sure. All we really know is that Nutri-Loaf was created as an answer for inmates who take delight in throwing their meal trays around.
One might wonder why this occurs; the throwing of meal trays, I mean. No matter what is contained on those trays, good or not so good, it is still edible food and in most cases it is all the inmates get to eat during the course of the day. Inmates have an odd “I’ll show you!” kind of attitude. It causes them to do things when they’re upset that don’t make a lot of sense. If an inmate is furious about something his lawyer has done, or the fact that his bedroll is itchy or maybe he didn’t get the medications he wanted the night before, he will often go on a hunger strike. He stops eating, shoves his trays back out the bean chute uneaten, and sits and sulks in fury on his bunk.
I wonder why they think this will accomplish anything? The officers and other employees really don’t care if someone eats or not. It doesn’t affect the officer’s stomachs and it certainly does not mean diddly-squat to their attorney or to the nurse who withheld the medication. It’s the same concept when they throw their trays and fling their food all over the walls and floors. The result is they have nothing to eat and then they have to either clean up their mess or live in squalor. Again, the officers just don’t care. The discomfort is all on the inmates, themselves, and seldom makes any significant change in whatever situation has them upset to begin with.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. What happens in the case of food fights and food riots is that those inmates no longer receive their food on trays. The relatively appetizing meals are replaced with Nutri-Loaf, served on brown paper towels, for as long as the punishment is deemed necessary. It could be a few days; it could be weeks. That’s up to whoever is dishing out the sanction.
Nutri-Loaf is made in the jail kitchen and can be almost any color and texture. It is concocted from all the ingredients for that particular meal, thrown into a giant mixer, blended with eggs to hold it all together, and baked into loaves, which are served to the inmates who are being punished. The Breakfast Loaf might be a mixture of pancakes, syrup, bacon, applesauce and cornflakes, all whizzed up with a few eggs to solidify it, then baked and sliced and served.
Lunch might be a mixture of fish sticks, beets, bread, tarter sauce, and chocolate cake, which turns a lovely shade of pink when mixed together and baked. Dinner could be chicken parts, green beans, potato wedges, lime gelatin with pears and banana pudding. That Loaf would probably have been on the greenish side.
The purpose of Nutri-Loaf was never intended to gross the inmates out, at least that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. The theory was the inmates could not make as much of a mess, or do as much damage, if they threw around a hunk of solidified food loaf and a paper towel as they could with a hard plastic try filled with assorted food items. They also could eat the slices of Nutri-Loaf with their fingers, eliminating the possible danger of hard plastic forks.
I, myself, have eaten Nutri-Loaf. We all did. Legally, we were told we had to at least taste it to prove it was not cruel or unusual. Cruel? No. Unusual? Yes, I think it was unusual, except, maybe, for the breakfast loaf. When the breakfast food items were blended and baked it almost always ended up tasting like quiche, which was not half bad as long as you didn’t take the time to inspect all the little bits of color and texture that were floating around in the slices. Whenever we had to prove to a bleeding heart lawyer or judge that the Nutri-Loaf was just fine to consume, we always made sure it was the Breakfast Edition we ate. Later in the day it might contain hot dogs and buns with mustard and ketchup, broccoli with cheese sauce, beans and pumpkin pie, which is a combined flavor that stays with you for much too long a period.
The lawyers, judges, and to my knowledge, even the Sheriff, never ate the Nutri-Loaf. They took our word for it. Thus, they could not form an arguable opinion on whether or not Nutri-Loaf was cruel or unusual. In point of fact, the jails in Yavapai County still use it today, but I do not know about Maricopa County.
The Nutri-Loaf incident occurred when someone in Dorm Three decided to insight a riot over the loss of television privileges. The inmates in the Yavapai County jail have cable TV and can watch pretty much what they want to between seven a.m. and ten at night, as long as they are on their best behavior. The television privilege is one thing that can be taken away from them in times of punishment and apparently that was what happened that night. What caused them to lose their TV privileges is a mystery to me after all these years and really isn’t pertinent anyway.
It was one of those wannabe riots, which are mainly noise and commotion and fortunately not a lot of injury, but during the commotion there was a lot of food trays thrown about and so one of the resulting punishments was two weeks of the dread Nutri-Loaf. That began at breakfast the following morning. There were complaints and threats, of course, but the jail is pretty steadfast on that subject. When a punishment is dealt, it is followed to the letter. The main thing is that if inmates throw Nutri-Loaf around it may create a mess, but no one gets hurt from flying globs of quiche-like material.
That day was relatively uneventful, as I recall. Nutri-Loaf was served and accepted by the inmates and aside from some cursing and grumbling they did not react too angrily. This, in itself, should have been a warning that something evil was a foot! Quiet inmates are suspicious inmates. It’s like when you have a couple of three and four-year-old children who disappear and grow very still and quiet. They’re up to no-good every time. Better go check on them and be prepared. But no one thought to check on the inmates in Dorn Three. It was busy that day and we were thankful for the quiet from at least one area of the jail.
The first call came at about eight o’clock that night, from the Dispatch area; water, or something liquid, was leaking from the ceiling into Dispatch, which happened to be directly beneath Dorn Three. This call was followed by a buzzing line from the Road Deputies area downstairs – more leakage. And this time the angry shout that came over the speaker system was, “There’s friggin’ turds floatin’ down here!!” This, of course, sent those of us in the jail scrambling back to the point of the leak.
By now it was more like a waterfall than just a leak downstairs, and the liquid that contained bits of “turds” was also pouring into the Sheriff’s Office and all over his saddles, his guns, and his expensive oak furniture. Fortunately it was not pouring on the Sheriff, himself. He customarily works in the evenings but on that particular night, Fate had taken him in a different direction.
In the jail, it was pandemonium. Every toilet and drain in Dorn Three was clogged and being repeatedly flushed. The result was a sewage backup that was filling each dormitory like dominoes, spreading into and through connecting pipes. It resembled a series of little, evil-smelling geysers, bubbling and spewing not only liquid and sewage, but also great globs of Nutri-Loaf which refused to disintegrate.
We shut the water off, of course. This stopped the immediate flow and spewing geysers but did nothing to squelch the ocean of sewage and non-biodegradable Nutri-Loaf. And this is where the Pointless Behavior comes in. The inmates in Dorm three, angry over having to eat Nutri-Loaf, had shoved towels and clothing into the drains and then flushed their Nutri-Loaf, along with a day’s worth of sewage, until they managed to plug every drain in the north side of the jail. This, in turn, caused problems for the innocent employees below in Dispatch and the Deputies task area, and also flooded all the other dorms where innocent inmates lived.
But the mess downstairs would be cleaned up by inmate workers or even by a private firm, not by any of the deputies and certainly not by the Sheriff. The flooded, sewage-strewn dorms upstairs, including Dorm Three where it all began, would be cleaned up by the inmates themselves, not by any of the deputies who had imposed the Nutri-Loaf on Dorm Three in the first place. County plumbers who are paid to do just that sort of thing unclogged the clogged plumbing. They didn’t suffer any for it. The only people who really suffered from the sewage extravaganza were the inmates in Dorm Three and their companions in the rest of the jail. Where is the sense in this?
Needless to say the Nutri-Loaf was extended for a period of thirty days and all other privileges, such as visitation and recreation, were also taken away from the inmates in Dorm three. They still had their Nutri-Loaf, their cells smelled like sewage for a month no matter how much scrubbing and disinfectant was used, and they were locked down with no entertainment at all. Pointless Behavior? Ridiculous Decisions? I would say so. But maybe that’s why they were in jail to begin with, do ya think?
AnonymousMemberMarch 31, 2014 at 12:56 pm
This was lovely love Niel Diamond
MemberJuly 1, 2014 at 10:13 pm
This was DELICIOUS! SOooo funny – laughed myself silly! Many thanks for making my day…
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