NOTE: THE MENTALLY ILL IN THE PSYCHIATRIC WARD, THE JUVENILE INMATES, THE PREGNANT AND THE SICK ARE NOT GIVEN ANY MORE FOOD THAN THE GENERAL POPULATION OF INMATES.
Currently, in Phoenix, Arizona, maricopa county jail inmates are fed twice a day. Once in the morning, at around 9 am, and once at night, at around 7pm. This is about 9 hours apart. As a former inmate, I remember how torturous this was. It affected me psychologically, physically, and emotionally. Inmates are treated poorly enough in maricopa county jails, less than human. If you make a mistake in maricopa county, and are taken to jail for it, you're instantly worth nothing. Nobody cares about you. While there are infinitely more injustices and cruelties that the inmates are subjected to, the aim of this petition is to at least have them fed your basic three meals a day.
Not only is food deprivation physically torturous, but it also causes and severely exacerbates depression and anxiety. The inmates at maricopa county jails are human. They are not "inmates". They are not "criminals". They are human beings, with needs, rights and feelings. While so much of the time and money of these institutions is spent to psychologically and physically harm the inmates, in hopes of scaring them away from breaking city and state laws, and would be better spent rehabilitating and helping them, it is understood that the basic purpose of correctional institutions is to deter people from committing crimes. But this does NOT make it excusable to deny them basic human rights.
Photo by Joshua Lott
Note (added 3/25 at 10:36 pm): I, the petitioner, was told by a detention officer while incarcerated between 11/26/2010 and 7/5/2011 that the two meals a day were given in response to inmates protesting the unhealthiness of their three meals a day. We also ask that you do not do anything like this, I.e. make their meals of even worse quality than they already are, to retaliate against us for asking.