When it's time for chow at the Monrovia jail, what's on the menu? The answer lies in California's Code of Regulations.
The providers of inmate meals must follow the state's guidelines, and it's time for the city to decide who will cater its jail. Monrovia Police Chief Jim Hunt is recommending the City Council renew a contract with the County of Los Angeles to continue feeding its prisoners.
The Monrovia jail is a "type 1" facility that houses prisoners until they are arraigned in a Los Angeles County Superior Court, according to an agenda report prepared by Hunt.
"The State of California regulates the type of meal that is provided to inmates while they are in custody," the agenda report states. "The Los Angeles County Department of Health inspects jail facilities to ensure the meals served to prisoners meet State standards."
Monrovia has contracted with the county since 2009 and found it to meet the state requirements set out for meals. According to Title 15 of the California Code of Regulations, here is what inmates are entitled to:
- Each inmate shall be provided a wholesome, nutritionally balanced diet. Nutrition levels shall meet the Recommended Dietary Allowances and Dietary Reference Intakes as established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Science.
- Inmates confined in segregated housing shall be served food representative of that being served to general population inmates.
- Food shall not be withheld nor standard menu varied as a disciplinary sanction for any inmate.
- Inmates shall be provided three meals each day, two of which shall be served hot. Variations to the two hot meals per day requirement may be allowed to accommodate religious observances, religious meal programs, and institution emergencies. The breakfast meal shall be served not more than 14 hours following the previous day’s evening meal.
- Pregnant inmates shall receive two extra eight ounce cartons of milk or a calcium supplement if lactose intolerant, two extra servings of fresh fruit, and two extra servings of fresh vegetables daily. A physician may order additional nutrients as necessary.
- Facility menus shall be prepared at least one week in advance and posted in locations accessible to all general population inmates. Inmates in segregation housing shall, upon request, be provided a weekly menu.