Cook County jail inmates can now order hot pizza, and have it delivered directly to their cells. Yes, really.If you think this means that Dominos will be sending drivers through prison checkpoints... not quite. The Pizzas are cooked on the premises and are paid for with the inmates' commissary. At $5 to $7 a pie, inmates have the choice of a variety of toppings, from classic Margherita to a "four seasons" pizza piled with mushrooms, salami, olives, and egg. The most popular topping is simply sausage, but there are a total of six types that inmates can choose from.It's all part of the “Recipe for Change” program, a 501c3 charity and curriculum that helps teach inmates skills that they can use after they are released. A local restaurant owner and Italian immigrant Chef Bruno Abate runs the program in addition to the 70 hours he works at his day job, and focuses on improving inmate's self-esteem and love for food. Some graduates of the program go on to work for him.
Sherrif spokeswoman Cara Smith stated that the program isn't designed for "coddling the detainees," adding that the sales of the pizzas all go toward funding the program itself - this in an effort to minimize the taxpayer funding. Originally, there were plans on also selling pies to the jail's staff, but the guards weren't in favor of the idea. Since the program was implemented on April 20th, over 200 pies have been purchased by inmates.There are also plans to set up a food truck that serves food cooked by the inmates, according to Smith. These efforts will serve to give inmates the opportunity to find work once they are out of prison; most Cook County jail inmates who are released are back within three years, so providing alternatives is crucial to keeping prison populations down.You can see Chef Abate and the members of his program make pizza, pasta, and other food in the video below:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObxUYzgbV3g