Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

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) — 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 — and what — 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

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Online Taste of Chicago starts today with food trucks, list of restaurants to order from
Wednesday, July 08, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Most Second Installment Residential and Commercial Property Tax Bills Higher
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
Evanston RoundTable

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Tuesday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Another tool to help address flooding and promote economic development in Cook County
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
The Daily Line

Cook County Commissioners urge passage of Justice for Black Lives resolution to shift resources from incarceration to human needs
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Announces $41M Grant to Fund COVID-19 Contact Tracing
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
The Chicago Crusader

Check Your Mailbox. That Vote By Mail Application May Be Coming Soon.
Tuesday, July 07, 2020
WBEZ News

Lightfoot, senior advocates strike deal on Covid-19 housing protection ordinance
Monday, July 06, 2020
The Daily Line

Wellness checks and lines as Cook County courthouses open, hold more in-person hearings
Monday, July 06, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Circuit Court resuming limited in-person operations Monday
Monday, July 06, 2020

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Monday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Monday, July 06, 2020
Chicago Tribune

New flood maps tell us we aren’t doing enough to stop rising waters
Sunday, July 05, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County courts start reopening Monday, with thousands of cases stalled by pandemic. ‘How do you wake the sleeping giant?’
Saturday, July 04, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board considers nonbinding proposal to shift money from ‘failed and racist’ policing, incarceration systems
Saturday, July 04, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Coronavirus pandemic should spur family talk about financial planning, too
Saturday, July 04, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

COVID-19 Cases Are On The Rise In Some Parts Of Illinois. This Worries Experts.
Friday, July 03, 2020
WBEZ News

Cannabis, gambling taxes to boost county amid long-term budget woes
Thursday, July 02, 2020
The Daily Line

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Thursday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Chicago Tribune

'Going To Do The Best We Can': Cook County Adjusts Outreach Strategy For US Census Due To COVID-19
Thursday, July 02, 2020
WBBM Radio

Why local school districts are lining up against Fritz Kaegi
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

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