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Utiliaztion of Private Food Service Vendors in Juvenile Correctional Facilities as a Cost-Effective Method of Providing Superior Nutrition and Reducing Institutional Antisocial Behavior by Adopting Specific Nutritional Policies (From Proceedings of the 29th Annual Southern Conference on Corrections,

NCJ Number
S J Schoenthaler; T Panko; W E Doraz
Date Published
10 pages
This paper reviews how both large and small correctional institutions have redesigned inmate diets to reduce antisocial behavior and used private food service to increase the nutritional content of inmate food, all at considerable cost savings.
All but 3 of the 10 institutions examined in this study use private food service vendors because of their lower costs and ability to deliver food with better taste and nutrition. The 10 institutions studied apparently succeeded in modifying inmate antisocial behavior by changing diet. In 1983, the behavior of over 6,000 juvenile inmates was analyzed while they were on traditional or experimental diets. The primary diet revision at each institution was a lowering of sucrose consumption by replacing soft drinks with fruit juices and candies with fresh vegetable snacks or popcorn, as well as the elimination of highly sugared breakfast cereals and desserts. Significant behavioral changes were noted following diet changes, probably because of the superior vitamin and mineral content of the new diets. Notable behavioral changes were also probably due to the juveniles' having suffered from marginal nutritional deficiencies prior to institutionalization. Study findings indicate that correctional institutions should limit inmates' sugar consumption and their eating of processed foods containing unnecessary additives. The amount of fresh fruits and vegetables served should also be increased, particularly in the form of salads and fruit juices. Twenty-four references are listed.