Takeout menus and pizza delivery boys are a regular sight at college dorms and frat houses the world over, and if LaPorte County Sheriff John Boyd has anything to say about it, the LaPorte County Jail in Indiana will soon follow suit.
Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, Indiana, has been allowing inmates to order off of a menu from local restaurants as a means of positively reinforcing good behavior and providing incentive for continued good behavior. The program has been used for nearly 20 years as a means of maintaining order and to raise money for a variety of causes.
Sheriff Boyd hopes to launch a similar program in the coming week assuming that potential security risks can be accounted for and any risk of contraband slipping in with the food can be mitigated. The food provided will be items that are generally not available in prison as well as things like candy or flowers during the holidays.
While it will require additional labor on the prison’s part, Boyd is adamant that their budget will not need to be increased in order to fund the program. Prisoners will deposit money out of their commissary accounts that will be saved for monthly takeout orders if they maintain good behavior. Prices will also be marked up to raise money for non-profit organizations benefiting a variety of causes.
While some officers would prefer a more Spartan approach to prison management. Sheriff Boyd believes the program will provide a unique and impactful addition to their correctional programming. By encouraging good behavior alongside discouraging the bad, Boyd believes there will be less risk and anxiety for jail staff and for the inmates.
“They are human beings,” says Boyd, “and if it improves their behavior a little bit, it makes our jail a safer place.