Colo. Prison Inmates to Cater High School Prom

A welcome news story to wake up to: Haxtun High School, located in a farm town in Northeastern Colorado, will have its spring prom catered by inmates at the Sterling Correctional Facility.

This may be the inmates first catered prom, but the community is used to their catering other functions, including some National Honor Society banquets and town functions. At the latter, they whipped up some tasty cinnamon rolls.

The tradition is not new. This year, the inmates will be cooking around 120 meals, including chicken alfredo, vegetables, salad and cheesecake.

The cooking is not done inside the school, but behind it. Other local communities also use the inmates' catering services, "which is supported by an inmate culinary training program."

Reentry programs are a win-win for all. They teach inmates skills with which to get jobs when they are released, lowering the risk of recidivism, which makes the entire community safer.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Very cool... (5.00 / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 11:46:56 AM EST
    even cooler if the prisoners were paid properly for their culinary creations...the article does not mention wages, I'd imagine far below the going rate....not exactly fair to the prisoners or the private caterers bound by minimum wage laws.  

    But that gripe aside such programs to teach job skills serve the entire community...no brainers.  Just wish min. wage laws applied inside and outside prison walls...anything less could be considered exploitive.

    In CA state correctional facilities, (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:14:49 PM EST
    inmates participating in prison industries must be paid in compliance with federal labor law.  This applies in situations where a private contractor is running the prison industry program and making money off it.  

    I agree, Dog (none / 0) (#4)
    by Zorba on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:15:50 PM EST
    Pay them a decent wage (if not minimum wage, at least much more than most make now), and if they don't want the prisoners to have access to too much money while behind bars, give them a reasonable amount and put the rest in some kind of account for them so that they can have a nice nest egg when they get out of prison.  I also like the idea of teaching them skills that they can use outside.  Making license plates does not exactly equate with skills they'll need in the real world.

    Not anymore... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:22:06 PM EST
    no...but back when we were a manufacturing nation instead of a finance & grift nation, making license plates taught good skills.  My father learned his trade in Rikers Island in the early 60's...he was a machinist.  Though I don't think he made any plates...he made parts for all them sliding bars and locks and gates.  

    $15 total! (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 01:07:38 PM EST
    What a deal!  When I went to the prom (ahem) more years ago than I care to remember, tickets were something like $70 for a couple.

    A really nice thing to read about (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by hairspray on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 07:58:11 PM EST
    with all the other awful stuff in the world today. In the last 20 years or so, becoming a chef has become really cool. The history of education has been a struggle between college bound verses vocational education.  Too many decent jobs have no cache because they are "blue collar". As a consequence, people who do not have the skills or interest aim for college with little hope of suceeding.  One size does not fit all. We have allowed our manufacturing base to wither for many reasons including the fact these jobs are not valued as highly as law, medicine, or finance.

    To me "catering" includes delivering (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:15:50 PM EST
    the food and serving it.  Here it means cooking the food in the correctional facility.  Good program.  

    That bummed me out... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:25:24 PM EST
    at least let the chefs get a day outside the bars and serve the food, see their hard work enjoyed.  That could have rehabilitative qualities too...

    Ha. Imagine the PTA reaction to inmates (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:29:08 PM EST
    serving the prom banquet.  

    The PTA... (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 01:23:30 PM EST
    would have more to worry about from the kids prom dates than the inmates, imo.

    They're prisoners, not lepers...but I hear ya, reason often doesn't enter such fear-filled debates.


    Unlikely (3.50 / 2) (#10)
    by nyjets on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 06:10:56 PM EST
    The PTA has A LOT more to worry about the inmates than the prom dates. Espically the inmates that commited violent crimes. If I had any children, I would be very reluctant having my children anywhere near the inmates.

    Oy (none / 0) (#12)
    by sj on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 05:34:57 PM EST
    Did you read the article?  The inmates don't get anywhere near "the children".

    I think kdog's entitled to his hyperbole based on the fact that the inmates don't get anywhere near "the children".


    You misunderstood and I was unclear (none / 0) (#13)
    by nyjets on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 06:30:50 PM EST
    AS I understood it, there was a suggestion that the inmates should have been allowed to cook and serve the food at the prom so they could see the fruits of the labor. My point is that the PTA would have had every reason to worry about that situation.
    I did understand that then inmates were not allowed near the children, and that was a good thing.

    Ah, I see (none / 0) (#14)
    by sj on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 07:26:06 PM EST
    I DID misunderstand.  Thanks for the clarification.

    Pay Scale (none / 0) (#15)
    by kameljoe21 on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 12:22:06 AM EST
    Colorado Correctional Inmates make the sum of money as i list below
    Pay scale as of 2009
    Per day
    60 cents
    90 cents
    1.20 dollar
    for all in house jobs
    and 1.50 per day worked that was grandfathered in be for the new pay scale

    as for inmates working for the CCI (Colorado Correctional Industries) programs    
    Goat Dairy
    Canteen Services
    General Services
    Heavy Equipment
    Dog Program
    SWIFT Program
    Wild Horse Program
    Plus a whole bunch more
    they get the same pay scale plus additional money earned from there productions
    from what i know the BV saddle shop is the highest paid program and also the hardest to get as most of the current inmates are lifers they earn as much a 500 dollars a month
    most of the ag programs from the farms to the dairy can earn as much as 250 and some times as much as 300 to 400 during harvest or high production times most of the other programs like the culinary arts program make around 100 per month the same goes with the dog, vineyard and some others The only other program the will make more than 500 dollars is the Swift program... for those who dont know they are the fire team that gets sent out to all of them large fires in colorado, there program makes a bulk of there money fighting the fires

    thats a but all i know