Do Vegetarians Get Special Meals at the Jail?May 7th, 2010 by josh farley
The short answer is no. But there’s some explanation involved.
A woman was doing time at the Kitsap County jail for stealing a Bainbridge woman’s purse recently. She grew up vegetarian, her husband says — that is, she isn’t a vegetarian by choice, but rather her body literally rejects meat.
“It makes her violently ill because her body cannot process it,” her husband told me, adding that during her 90 day stint on the inside, she lost weight and survived on only “cake, candy, junk food and once in awhile they have steamed vegetables and a small salad.”
I made a phone call to the sheriff’s office to ask about it last week.
“We try to accomodate them as much as is practical,” said Kitsap County Sheriff’s spokesman Scott Wilson. “But we don’t go and get special vegetarian meals.”
Those with certain medical conditions, along with inmates whose religions mandate certain diets, do get special meals, Wilson said.
But when it comes to vegetarians, Wilson said the best they can do in jail is avoid the meat and get extra helpings of vegetables and starches.
There are some prisons and jails around the country that actually cater to vegetarian dietary needs. But Kitsap isn’t one of them.