Monday, August 1, 2016

Behind Bars Jail Food

So you're behind bars.  Welcome to the club.  My name is Bob Smith and I've been in and out of jail for most of my adult life.  It's a track record I'm certainly not proud of, but It means I do have a lot of advice when it comes to surviving life behind bars.  During my last stint in the pen,  I took up writing at the urging of my persistent bail bondsman.  He taught me how to get through the bail bonds process.  You'll find your bail agent will quickly become your best friend.  I mean, who else can you call at 3 a.m. for help? I digress.  So, now that I'm out of jail I'm starting a blog about life behind bars.  Think of it as a go-to-guide for jail.  Jail for dummies, really.  I hope you find my insight interesting and useful.  Today, I'm taking a closer look at the food served in jail and prison.

Jail Food - Salt

Bland. That's the first word that comes to mind when describing the food you will eat behind bars. Even Martha Stewart couldn't help spice up the food. Second thought, she probably could.  Didn't she serve time behind bars?  Again, I digress.  After you've been booked into jail and you've called a bail bonding servicing company, you need to get your hands on some salt.  This go-to seasoning of choice will literally change your life when you're in the slammer. You take bland mashed potatoes and green beans and then sprinkle a little salt on top, bam, you have your self a delicious meal.  So here's the problem though, salt is very hard to find at the jail.  You have to have a reliable salt source from the outside.  Your bail agent will point you in the right direction.

Often bail bondsman will also have a salt side business, just for inmates.  That way your bail bonding company literally becomes a one stop shop: salt and bond.  With the approval of the jail guards you can import salt into the jail, but only a one month's supply at a time.  The jail staff isn't too found of inmates selling salt for profit.  If you get caught selling in salt selling ring, things could turn sour for you pretty fast.  In fact, in Mississippi it's a felony for selling salt behind bars.  Once you get your hands on salt, preferably sea salt, you can begin to enjoy your meals. You will get  three square meals a day, with at least one of those served inside your cell. Make sure to keep your salt in a secret hiding spot.

Working in the Jail Kitchen

The jail staff works hard to create a custom and creative meal plan for each wing of the jail.  The culinary experts will also take into account food sensitives and allergies.  Once you're booked into jail, the staff will hand out a food survey to make sure the menu reflects your personal likes and dislikes.  If you need help with the survey, your bail bonding agent can offer his or her assistance.  Once each inmate completes the food preference survey, you will have the opportunity to apply for a position working in the kitchen.  Only non-violent offenders and those approved by their bail bondsman will be allowed to work with sharp kitchen tools.

To work in  the jail kitchen you must be able to create a delicious and creative meal using just three ingredients: potatoes, garbanzo beans and ketchup.  A 12 member panel made up of bail agents, parole officers and bakery owners will taste test your creation.  If you pass the taste test then you will secure a spot working in the kitchen.  In my experience, this is perhaps the best job in jail.  My bail bondsman first suggested I apply for a kitchen job and I'm so glad I listened to his advice.   When you work in the kitchen you get to help nurture and feed hundreds of inmates every day.  It doesn't get any more rewarding than that.  In addition to giving back to your jail community, you also get to plan the menu.  And once you're out of jail, your bail bonding agent can help find your a job in the restaurant industry.

When I was behind bars, mealtime was my favorite part of the day.  By securing a salt supply with your bail bondsman and working in the kitchen you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner until you get out of the slammer.