Report from the South Carolina Department of Corrections

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[Prison Food] [South Carolina]

Report from the South Carolina Department of Corrections

To whom it may concern,

Pursuant to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 5, no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment.

Pursuant to the United States Constitutional Amendments, Amendment VIII, excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Pursuant to South Carolina Department of Corrections Police ADN - 16.05 Food Service Operations, sections 2.4.2, ensuring that master menus conform to the Recommended Dietary Allowances, & 7.1.1, menus posted in all living areas, & 7.1.6, food will be prepared progressively and served at proper temperature, 7.6.3, food service specialists ensuring food quality, quality are in compliance.

The South Caroline Dept. of Corrections current Mission Statement quoted as follows:

“Protect the Public, Protect the Employees, Protect the Inmates…”

Current SCDC policies, procedures, and practices serve to create an environment in direct conflict and opposition with their “Mission Statement”. Furthermore, SCDC’s “Mission Statement” should be expanded to include educational and rehabilitative goals. The entire system needs to be restructured to meet all the needs and goals effectively and efficiently. “Protection” is just one of the many needs.

The food served at the Broad River Secured Facility and throughout SCDC has always been a topic with wide spread opinions depending on which side of the fence you are on. SCDC brags that they have the lowest cost per inmate in the country. Eat one of the meals and you’ll see why. SCDC inmates housed at BRSF are suppose to receive fruit every lunch meal like general population but we don’t.

A large portion of the meals are cheap starches. Milk, when it is available, can only be obtained at breakfast, and on the numerous occasions it is either not av liable or it runs out before all inmates ain RHU (Restricted Housing Unit) have been fed. White rice or pasta served every lunch and dinner. The portions, which are supposed to be regulated, are left to the discretion of the inmates working on the serving line and “told” to give RHU inmates half a portions. On the weekends RHU inmates along with general population are fed only two meals every Saturday and Sunday.

One of mans most basic instincts is self-preservation. A large portion of the problems that arise at BRSF are due to search for edible food (edible being defined not only as able to be eaten as far as taste, but also as far as safety, and, most importantly, quantity). While there are laws, as well as policies which prohibit certain forms of punishment, the denial of food for being in the “Restricted Housing Unit” (segregation) have become common.

Inadequate Food Served in BRSF

Pursuant to SCDC policy ADM-16.05, Food Service Operations & 2.4.2 and & 7.6.3, “Ensuring Inmate Master Menus conform to the”recommended dietary allowance… Food Service Specialists ensuring food quality, quality are in compliance…”

On April 10, 2023, I myself as well as eighteen other prisoners declared a “Hunger Strike” challenging our poor conditions of confinement at Broad River Secured Facility, and inadequate food portions was one of our reasons. We are being fed like children in a elementary school. Every meal we are not receiving the recommended portions that was recommend by the “National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council.”

Beginning of January 2023, SCDC changed its food menu and started serving inmates “fruit on lunch meals, chicken patties, fish, and chop chicken.” However, we in BRSF-RHU are not receiving these item with the exception of fish.

Our meals have one scoop of grits during breakfast and when we have rice or pasta we only receive one scoop. At one point of time we were receiving “paper trays” that couldn’t hold food so this shorten our meals. These paper trays always had our food mushed together and fallen out the bottom. On the weekends we are fed two meals a day and neither meal we don’t receive adequate portions.

Pursuant to Knop v. Johnson, 667 F. Supp. 467 (W.D. Mich. 1987), “food is one of the basic necessities of life protected by the Eighth Amendment…”

Also see Ramos v Lamm, 659 F. 2nd 559, 570 (10th Ci. 1980_. Robles v Coughlin (?), 725, F.2d 12 (2d cir, 1983).

My hope is that you have received this report with an open and inquisitive mind. While I hope this information helpful, the higher hope is you will investigate this matter for yourself. It is fair to say that no matter who is asked, politician, citizen, or inmate, the answer is still the same: The Broad River Secured Facility needs a complete overhaul along with SCDC!