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Bread and water, kind of, is what 38 Arizona inmates are being forced to live on for the next week. They're under the watch of controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio. So, what did they do?
"Arpaio says the inmates tore, stepped on and wrote all over flags that were placed in their cells." (Via KGUN)
These were 5-by-7 American flag stickers Arpaio had placed in every cell throughout the six facilities under his control. (Via Wikimedia Commons / SVG)
According to Arpaio, "It's the American flag. I don't like anyone messing with the American flag. I hope they enjoy the food. When they get back out and they do it again they go back and back. So that's my message." (Via KTVK)
Now, it's not quite bread and water the inmates are eating. The bread is actually nutraloaf, something that's often served as a punishment in prisons.
And it supposedly tastes so bad, Business Insider describes it as "revolting." It contains vegetables, protein, and more than 1,000 calories a slice.
"The federal circuit courts have repeatedly ruled that jails don't have serve good tasting food, just nutritionally viable food, which this is... Oh that's horrible. Oh my god. ... It's like chewing on chalk." (Via Glens Falls Post-Star)
Even Arpaio could barley eat it. (Via YouTube / Shaun Attwood)
And while nutaloaf has been ruled constitutional, a reporter for KPHO asked, is this diet fair?
One former inmate said, "It's something I wouldn't feed an animal. I felt malnourished, I had hunger pains... I just felt like it was cruel and unusual punishment.
"Why is that in your mind a fair punishment?" - a reporter asked Arpaio.
"I run a patriotic jail," Apraio said.
Apraio's been using the bread and water diet as a form of punishment since about 2004. A number of other prisons around the country also feed the nutraloaf to inmates.
- See more at Newsy