Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Chicago Inmates Can Order Fancy Italian Pizza Made in Jail
Gourmet Italian pizzas can be delivered to your cell, if you get locked up in Chicago's Cook County Jail.

Friday, May 26, 2017
US News and World Report
by DON BABWIN

Chicago Inmates Can Order Fancy Italian Pizza Made in Jail

Gourmet Italian pizzas can be delivered to your cell, if you get locked up in Chicago's Cook County Jail.

|May 26, 2017, at 12:49 p.m.

Chicago Inmates Can Order Fancy Italian Pizza Made in Jail
The Associated Press

In this May 23, 2017 photo, inmate Jonathan Scott, right, works in the kitchen at the Cook County Jail in Chicago. Inmates in the jail's medium-security Division 11 are now allowed to order pizzas made by inmates like Scott, who is participating in the jail's "Recipe for Change" program while he waits for trial after his 2015 arrest on an armed robbery charge. in Chicago. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

By DON BABWIN, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) ó How can you get a gourmet Italian pizza delivered right to your door for no more than $7? Get locked up at Cook County Jail in Chicago.

Inmates in the jail's medium-security Division 11 can now order pizzas made with the finest ingredients in the kind of ovens found in pizzerias. It's all part of Sheriff Tom Dart's ongoing effort to make jail a bit more humane while providing inmates skills that might help keep them from returning once they're set free.

Pizzas have been served and prepared behind bars before. A few institutions allow inmates to order from nearby restaurants. At one Massachusetts jail, inmates make pizzas that guards can buy and take home and heat themselves.

But it's safe to say Dart is the first jail administrator to bring into his facility an Italian chef to oversee an operation in which inmates bake a couple hundred pizzas a week in a $16,000 oven and deliver them piping hot to the cells of captive customers.

"We're teaching skills to make them more marketable when they get out of here," Dart said.

At the same time, by giving inmates a break from the bland jail food, he's employing what experts say is an effective tactic to keep inmates in line.

"If any detainee assaults staff or engages in misconduct they're moved out of that division, and they're not able to purchase the pizzas," said Cara Smith, the department's chief policy officer. "So it's an incentive to behave."

Other programs Dart has introduced include using chess to teach inmates about problem-solving and patience, and sending inmates from the jail's boot camp to tear down abandoned buildings.

The pizza delivery service is an outgrowth of a program called "Recipe for Change" that's run by Bruno Abate, a chef and owner of trendy Chicago restaurant Tocco , that teaches inmates about cooking and nutrition. Abate said there's no overstating the effect gourmet pizza has in a place where the drab food only reminds inmates of where ó and what ó they are.

"This is treating people with dignity and respect as a human and not (an) animal," he said.

The pizza also might be the best food some of the desperately poor inmates have ever eaten.

"How many of them even get to go to a decent restaurant?" asked Ron Gidwitz, a prominent Republican fundraiser who donated money to buy the oven and raised the rest.

When the inmates bring the pizzas to the cells, the effect, inmates say, is immediate.

"Their eyes light up like it's Christmas," said Jonathan Scott, whose nametag reads "Chef Jonathan," as he waits for trial on an armed robbery charge.

Dart said he decided to sell the pizzas to raise money for the program. Initially, he planned to have the inmates sell them to correctional officers. But the jailers weren't interested in buying food prepared by inmates who might take the opportunity to add something to the recipe.

Dart said they also groused that inmates were being coddled. So the sheriff decided to give the inmates, who can already use their own money to buy things like chips, a chance to purchase pizzas.

Dart now hopes he can get his hands on a food truck and sell his pizza outside the jail and nearby courthouse, where good food is hard to find.

Gidwitz is game to raise money for the truck, too. But he wonders why Dart would stop there.

"Maybe," he said, "you could get trustees to sit right outside the jail and sell pizzas from there."

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Chicago Inmates Can Order Gourmet Pizza Delivery
AP

Tags:Massachusetts,Illinois



Recent Headlines

Re: Property Taxes IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM COMMISSIONER SUFFREDIN
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

What's at stake in latest census numbers
Monday, April 22, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Legislation aims to make water rates across Illinois more affordable and equitable
Monday, April 22, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Dorothy Brown worker who allegedly lied to federal grand jury set for trial
Sunday, April 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Time is running out for an affordable housing fix
Friday, April 19, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Assessorís Office Publicly Releases Residential Assessment Code and Models
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

EDITORIAL: Long in the MWRD pipeline, IG plan needs a yes vote
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Cuts Ribbon on Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Homeowners in Chicago have just a few weeks to get current on their 2017 property taxes - or risk losing their homes. WBEZís Odette Yousef reports.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
WBEZ Chiacgo Public Radio

Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett questions for Inspector General Blanchard
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pet owners warned of spring coyote dangers
Monday, April 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A challenge to one of Chicago's biggest draws for companies
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

What Evanston's assessments tell us about the new assessor's new math
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Vote for your favorite presidential candidate. The Illinois Democratic County Chairís Association wants to know who you want to be the Democratic nominees for President and Vice President. Vote here.
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A Day in the Life of a Cook County Burn Crew
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
WTTW News

EDITORIAL: Splitting up the regionís sanitation board is an idea that stinks
Monday, April 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP