[Connecticut governor Dan Malloy’s] administration argues that throwing a little more money at prison meals will save a lot more down the line by making inmates, many of whom rely on state-funded health care after their release, more healthy inside prison and out. Malloy takes credit for coming up with the idea himself, arguing it’s part of a continuing effort to provide inmates with the life skills they need to re-enter society.
Also, it’s seen as a way to help keep the peace in the prisons. […] Calderon, who now works with at-risk youth in Bridgeport, Connecticut’s largest city, still remembers watered-down oatmeal, powdered mashed potatoes and the fights that broke out between grown men frustrated by small portions.
Inadequate food can also be a major factor in prison riots–which are quite costly for the state, as well.
I once had a conversation where I voiced support for improved conditions in prison, such as better food, better healthcare, better education, and so on. A conservative replied with something to the extent of, “Why should they get good education and food while people who didn’t break the law have to work for it?”
Of course, unbeknownst to him, he unintentionally brought up a good point – why shouldn’t the government guarantee those things for everyone, incarcerated or not?