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Sentencing/Post-Conviction

Vermont Inmates Claim Right to a Hearing Over Nutraloaf

Posted Mar 24, 2008 8:31 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The Vermont Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments today on whether serving inmates a concoction known as nutraloaf is punishment meriting a formal hearing.

The mixture, served on a piece of paper, consists of cubed bread, nondairy cheese, carrots, spinach, raisins, beans, vegetable oil, tomato paste, powdered milk and dehydrated potato flakes, the Associated Press reports.

Advocates for inmates say the meal is punishment, and it can’t be imposed until a formal disciplinary process is followed.

But prison officials told AP that nutraloaf delivers nutrition and a message to misbehaving inmates.

"It's commonplace in other states as a way of providing nutrition in a mechanism that dissuades inmates from throwing feces, urine, trays and silverware," said Vermont Corrections Commissioner Rob Hofmann. "It tends to have the desired outcome."

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