Skip to comments.Cuisine is lean for vegan in county jail
Posted on 12/19/2005 8:46:40 AM PST by beaversmom
Stephen Philip Marshall, like most Americans, will be offered turkey and stuffing today.
But Marshall, 20, accused of eco-sabotage and housed in the Justice Center jail, may not eat much of his Thanksgiving dinner. Since he was put in jail Aug. 31, he has asked for vegan meals: no meat, eggs or dairy.
Jail officials, however, have turned him down. The jail's kitchen provides custom meals only for religious or medical reasons. Marshall cites no religious conviction for his vegan diet but rather his beliefs against animal cruelty.
Marshall is accused of plotting to blow up trucks and equipment belonging to Morse Bros., which he claimed is polluting a stream in Washington County. He has a Dec. 6 trial date in federal court.
His beef with the jail helps illustrate how food has tormented corrections facilities.
"It's a huge problem," said Lt. Michael Shults, a spokesman for the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, which operates the county jails. "There's always somebody coming in and saying, 'I can't eat that.' Once you give someone one thing and somebody else another, we're running a full scale buffet, which is very expensive."
As of Friday, the county was providing 139 special diets for about 10 percent of the total jail population. Religious diets include one kosher, 17 halal and 44 vegetarian or vegan meals. Other special diets meet medical needs. Shults said a panel of chaplains, including Muslim and Buddhist clerics, helps screen religious dietary requests based on documented practice. "Portland is a very diverse community," Shults said. "We decided to go out and ask for help."
Shults said the special diets are expensive. A kosher meal, for example, costs $5. The typical jail meal is 50 cents.
Shults also said sticking to one menu helps keep the jail in order. Differences among inmate culinary inclinations have escalated from food fights to lawsuits in jails across the nation.
"Being fair and consistent is the key to running a jail," Shults said. "When you're dealing with predators, and one person gets something another person is not getting, assaults occur, riots occur."
Marshall's attorney would not allow his client to comment. But Chantel Guidry, a Lawrence, Kan.-based member of the prisoner support network Anarchist Black Cross, is leading a letter-writing campaign to get Marshall his vegan diet. She has been corresponding with Marshall and is convinced of his sincerity.
"I find it hard to believe everyone in prison would suddenly want vegan meals," she said. "We're a meat-based society."
Marshall is surviving on whatever vegan items come his way on his meal tray, Guidry said. She has traded about a dozen letters with Marshall for months and said she is worried his health will deteriorate.
"It is not necessary that Mr. Marshall lose a great deal of weight and risk his good health just because he is not a member of an accepted religion," Guidry wrote in a letter dated Monday to the Justice Center jail captain.
Shults did not know if Marshall had lost weight since coming to jail.
"He seems to be fine," he said.
Boaz Herzog: 503-412-7072; email@example.com
I hate it when this happens.
let em eat cake!
Don't do the crime if you can't eat the prime..
Well, I suggest beans and rice.
Mr Ecoterrorist should have thought twice. I say feed him HAM for the next 3 months straight. I love PORK :)
Give him a big ole juicy back strap off a deer, Still bloody off the grill!!!!!
You don't like breadcrusts and water? That's what we're serving. Your other choice - don't commit crimes.
As of Friday, the county was providing 139 special diets for about 10 percent of the total jail population. Religious diets include one kosher, 17 halal and 44 vegetarian or vegan meals.
"She has been corresponding with Marshall and is convinced of his sincerity."
Sincerity towards what? Destoying property and hopefully killing humans to save animals, or his sincerity at being vegan? LOL!
Have you ever seen a dead kitten up a tree? You won't, 'cause THEY COME DOWN WHEN THEY GET HUNGRY ENOUGH! This guy'll eat eventually. 'F' him...SSZ
I dont know about you , but I wouldn't waste my hard won venison supply on this POS. feed him hot dogs made with only the best lips and #ssh*les of the pig or cow.
Put him on bread and water.
If I got any letters with this return address, I'd just burn them.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.