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Chicago inmates can order fancy Italian pizza made in jail

CHICAGO (AP) How can you get a gourmet Italian pizza delivered right to your door for no more than $7? Get locked up at Cook County Jail in Chicago. Inmates in the jail s medium-security Division 11 can now order pizzas made with the finest ingredients in the kind of ovens found in pizzerias. It s all part of Sheriff Tom Dart s ongoing effort to make jail a bit more humane while providing inmates skills that might help keep them from returning once they re set free. Pizzas have been served and prepared behind bars before. A few institutions allow inmates to order from nearby restaurants. At one Massachusetts jail, inmates make pizzas that guards can buy and take home and heat themselves.

But it s safe to say Dart is the first jail administrator to bring into his facility an Italian chef to oversee an operation in which inmates bake a couple hundred pizzas a week in a $16,000 oven and deliver them piping hot to the cells of captive customers.

We re teaching skills to make them more marketable when they get out of here, Dart said. At the same time, by giving inmates a break from the bland jail food, he s employing what experts say is an effective tactic to keep inmates in line.

If any detainee assaults staff or engages in misconduct they re moved out of that division, and they re not able to purchase the pizzas, said Cara Smith, the department s chief policy officer. So it s an incentive to behave. Other programs Dart has introduced include using chess to teach inmates about problem-solving and patience, and sending inmates from the jail s boot camp to tear down abandoned buildings.

The pizza delivery service is an outgrowth of a program called Recipe for Change that s run by Bruno Abate, a chef and owner of trendy Chicago restaurant Tocco , that teaches inmates about cooking and nutrition. Abate said there s no overstating the effect gourmet pizza has in a place where the drab food only reminds inmates of where and what they are.

This is treating people with dignity and respect as a human and not (an) animal, he said. The pizza also might be the best food some of the desperately poor inmates have ever eaten.

How many of them even get to go to a decent restaurant? asked Ron Gidwitz, a prominent Republican fundraiser who donated money to buy the oven and raised the rest. When the inmates bring the pizzas to the cells, the effect, inmates say, is immediate.

Their eyes light up like it s Christmas, said Jonathan Scott, whose nametag reads Chef Jonathan, as he waits for trial on an armed robbery charge.

Dart said he decided to sell the pizzas to raise money for the program. Initially, he planned to have the inmates sell them to correctional officers. But the jailers weren t interested in buying food prepared by inmates who might take the opportunity to add something to the recipe. Dart said they also groused that inmates were being coddled. So the sheriff decided to give the inmates, who can already use their own money to buy things like chips, a chance to purchase pizzas. Dart now hopes he can get his hands on a food truck and sell his pizza outside the jail and nearby courthouse, where good food is hard to find.

Gidwitz is game to raise money for the truck, too. But he wonders why Dart would stop there.

Maybe, he said, you could get trustees to sit right outside the jail and sell pizzas from there.

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Philippine forces hit militants; civilians wave white flags

Philippine military jets fired rockets at militant positions Saturday as soldiers fought to wrest control of a southern city from gunmen linked to the Islamic State group, witnesses said. Civilians waved flags from their windows to show they are not combatants. The city of Marawi, home to some 200,000 people, has been under siege by IS-linked militants since a failed raid Tuesday night on a suspected hideout of Isnilon Hapilon, who is on Washington’s list of most-wanted terrorists. Hapilon got away and fighters loyal to him took over parts of the city, burning buildings and seizing about a dozen hostages, including a priest. Their condition was not known. At least 44 people have died in the fighting, including 31 militants and 11 soldiers, officials say. It was not clear whether civilians were among the dead.

The violence prompted President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday to declare 60 days of martial law in the southern Philippines, where a Muslim rebellion has raged for decades. But the recent violence has raised fears that extremism could be growing as smaller militant groups unify and align themselves with the ideology of the Islamic State group. Although Hapilon and other groups in the southern Philippines have pledged allegiance to the IS, there is no clear sign of significant, material ties. Thousands of civilians have been fleeing.

“I saw two jets swoop down and fire at rebel positions repeatedly,” Alexander Mangundatu, a security guard, told The Associated Press in Marawi as a plume of black smoke billowed in the distance. “I pity the civilians and the women who were near the targeted area. They’re getting caught in the conflict and I hope this ends soon.”

Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said government forces are working to “clear the city of all remnants of this group.”

He said some civilians refused to evacuate because they want to guard their homes, slowing down the government operations.

“But that’s fine as long as civilians are not hurt,” Padilla said. On Friday, Duterte ordered his troops to crush the militants, warning that the country is at a grave risk of “contamination” by the Islamic State group. Duterte told soldiers in Iligan, a city near Marawi, that he had long feared that “contamination by ISIS” loomed in the country’s future, using the acronym for the Islamic State group.

“You can say that ISIS is here already,” he said.

Lt. Gen. Carlito G. Galvez Jr., a military commander, said civilians are enduring “extreme deprivation” because government services are unavailable and shops are closed.

“These terrorist atrocities continue to sow terror and confusion even to noncombatant Muslims and Christians,” he said in a statement. Hapilon is still hiding out in the city under the protection of gunmen who are desperately trying to find a way to extricate him, said the Philippines’ military chief, Gen. Eduardo Ano. He said Hapilon suffered a stroke after a government airstrike wounded him in January. Ano predicted that the military operation will take about a week as soldiers go house to house to clear the city of militants.

In a sign that the long-standing problem of militancy in the south could be expanding, Solicitor General Jose Calida said foreigners were fighting alongside the gunmen in Marawi, including Indonesians and Malaysians. Ano also said foreign fighters were believed to be inside, but he was more cautious. “We suspect that, but we’re still validating,” he said. Hapilon, an Islamic preacher, is a commander of the Abu Sayyaf militant group who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in 2014. He also heads an alliance of at least 10 smaller militant groups, including the Maute, which have a heavy presence in Marawi and were instrumental in fighting off government forces in this week’s battles.

Washington has offered a $5 million reward for information leading to Hapilon’s capture.

Jonah Goldberg: Why Trump is right about terrorists being losers

LOSER IS STRANGE WORD.

Literally and most plainly, it is simply someone who doesn t win some specific contest or challenge: the loser of a race, boxing match, business deal, etc.

Economists routinely talk about how this or that policy on trade, taxes, whatever creates winners and losers.

A big part of Donald Trump s winning appeal in the 2016 election was that Americans were on the losing end of trade policy. Trump took it further, arguing that we don t win wars or anything else anymore. Elect me, he promised, and you ll grow tired of all the winning.

But here s the thing: The logical and semantic inference of this rhetoric is that Americans, Trump voters, or the American military are losers.

Now, hold on. That rage building in some of you at the suggestion that Americans, Trump voters, or the American military are losers perfectly illuminates the problem with the word loser. The moment you use it to describe a person or a group, the meaning changes profoundly from an objective descriptor to a subjective epithet.
Tom Brady is widely seen as the greatest quarterback in the history of football. But even Brady loses games from time to time. Try watching the Patriots play in a Boston bar sometime. If the Patriots lose the game, announce, Brady is a loser, or, The Patriots are losers. In a technical sense, you d be right, which would amount to cold comfort in your hospital room.

I bring all of this up because in his statement on the Manchester terror attack, Trump said that terrorists are evil losers.

I won t call them monsters because they d like that term, Trump said. I will call them, from now on, losers, because that s what they are. They re losers. And we ll have more of them, but they re losers.

The response from many Trump critics has been a mixture of outrage and eye rolling.

Part of the problem is that loser is one of Trump s favorite insults. As USA Today cataloged, he s used it against everyone from Rosie O Donnell to George Will and Standard & Poor s. Not only has he called me a loser, but a total loser.

But I don t think he was calling me a terrorist.

Moreover, I don t think he s wrong to call terrorists losers. In the West, a lot of the people attracted to Islamic extremism are losers in all the meanings of the word. Omar Mateen, the avowed disciple of ISIS who killed 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando, was a screw-up and school bully who dreamed of becoming a police officer but ended up a very disgruntled security guard instead. The Manchester bomber, Salman Abedi, a college dropout, appears to have been a misfit.

Islamic terrorist organizations are hardly the only groups to recruit from the ranks of loserdom. Street gangs, neo-Nazis and countless communist fronts have been seducing resentful oddballs, outcasts and misanthropes. It simply makes sense that such people would be attracted to such groups. Radical causes provide a sense of meaning, belonging and importance to people who lack such things in their daily lives. Throughout Europe, the reserve army of jihadists is full of people who feel alienated or deracinated in Western society. In other words, they feel lost, which is a kind of losing. The extremists tell the disgruntled that their resentments are righteous and give these losers the opportunity to settle scores.

On the other hand, in some non-Western societies, terrorists aren t losers in the pejorative, schoolyard-epithet sense, but they are losers nonetheless. Osama bin Laden was the scion of a wealthy and prominent family. Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden s successor as the head of al-Qaida, was from a successful Egyptian family of doctors and was himself a surgeon. They chose to become terrorists for ideological reasons. Subscribing to a doctrine first explicated by Sayyid Qutb, an Islamist intellectual, they believed that the true faith was losing the battle with the forces of modernity and the West.

President Trump may not have all these distinctions in mind when he calls terrorists losers, but that doesn t mean he s wrong.

Jonah Goldberg is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior editor of National Review. You can write to him in care of this newspaper or by e-mail at [email protected], or via Twitter @JonahNRO.