Inmates claim their sandwiches were given to them without the usual two slices of meat and a slice of cheese. It’s caused outrage and raised questions… are prisoners treated unfairly?
“I don’t think that the 15 suicides since 1998 were about a slice of cheese. I think that’s kind of insulting to say that the issue is about a sandwich,” said event organizer, Zoe Buckwalter.
Buckwalter wants the prison to know everyone at the protest isn’t ok with the unfair treatment she says prisoners are getting.
Former prisoner Rei Serrano says he lost 30 pounds over the span on 3 months when he was in the Lancaster County Prison. He claims he was also mentally abused.
“They’re taking their attitude, they’re inflating their ego and then they’re imposing their will. And threatening things like oh we’ll turn this whole visitation room around and you’ll go back in and you’re not going to see your family for a week,” said Serrano.
But, County Commissioner and Chair of the Prison Board, Scott Martin, says the behavior that sparked Friday night’s protest is uncalled for. Prisoners shouted from their windows that they’re locked down 23 hours a day. Martin says that’s an exaggeration.
The general population is outside of their cells 4 hours a day. Some also claimed they’re starving.
“In this case over a slice of cheese? It’s been blown way out of proportion,” said Martin.
Martin says prisoners are usually served a sandwich with two 1.5 ounces of meat and a slice of cheese. Sandwiches prepared by inmates under kitchen supervision were served to a section of the prison with one 3 ounce slice of meat and no cheese.
The mishap is something prison officials are looking into. But, it has some wondering… what is the big deal?
“I think it’s always important to remember that there’s people out there who don’t have a slice of cheese who are victims of crimes or do obey the law,” said Martin.