CRIME

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Charges Inmates For Meals In Maricopa County Jails

03/04/2013 02:30 pm ET

There's no such thing as a free lunch and for inmates in jails around Phoenix, there won't be free breakfasts or dinner either.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the controversial Arizona lawman, announced that beginning this month Maricopa County inmates would be charged $1 for their meals, according to ABC15.

It's more expensive to feed inmates, because the jail system receivers fewer food donations, Arpaio claimed. The fair solution is to make the inmates cover the difference, Arpaio said.

"Everybody else has to pay for their food, why should [inmates] get freebies?" Arpaio said in a video produced by Eye Opener TV.

Whatever money inmates have in their possession when they arrive will be put towards meals, according to Arpaio's payment plan. Once that cash is gone, the county will take funds out of inmates' jail accounts, which are filled up by family and friends.

"We're going to make sure we use that money before they go to the canteen to buy some chocolate bars," Arpaio said in the video. "If they don't like it, I would highly recommend they don't come to jail."

Arpaio is well-known for making inmates wear pink uniforms and denying that President Obama is an American citizen. He won't let any inmates starve if they can't afford the dollar-a-day meal tab.

"Those who don't have the money, come on, of course we're still going to feed them," Arpaio said.

The Guardian Express reports that Maricopa County inmates get two meals a day.

Though it's true that, as Arpaio said, most people have to pay for their own food, prisoners are significantly poorer than most Americans, according to the New York Times.

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