Criminals in Chicago Can Now Order Freshly Made Brick-Oven Pizzas to Their Jail Cells

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By Joe Simonson | 5:09 pm, May 9, 2017

Who thinks pizza shouldn’t be a human right anyway?

Inmates in Cook County, Illinois, can now have hot, freshly delivered pizza to their jail cell thanks to the “Recipe for Change” program started by chef Bruno Abate.

The pizzas will be cooked by other inmates in the jail’s pizza oven, with five bucks getting you a plain margherita pie and seven dollars getting you a “four seasons” pizza with mushrooms, salami, olives and egg.  Revenue from the service will go back into the program.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Abate said the program is meant to “improve inmates’ self-esteem and love of food.” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart initially wanted jail guards to be customers, but quickly found out they “wanted nothing to do with anything made by detainees,” according to sheriff’s spokeswoman Cara Smith.

Cook County Jail is one of the largest single-site county pre-detention facilities in the United States and holds about 100,000 inmates annually with an average daily population of 9,000.  Only members of the jail’s Division 11 section can take advantage of the pizza program.

The prison hopes to start a food truck program soon, too.

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