Skip to comments.Study: Ramen noodles replacing cigarettes as primary currency among U.S. prison population
Posted on 08/24/2016 6:48:32 AM PDT by JoeProBono
TUCSON, - A U.S. study indicates cigarettes are being replaced as currency among state prisoners by another highly-coveted item -- instant ramen noodles.
Michael Gibson-Light, a doctoral candidate in the University of Arizona School of Sociology, said ramen noodles are on the rise as a form of currency among male inmates in U.S. state prisons due to cost-cutting measures leading to a drop in food quality and quantity.
Gibson-Light, who is due to present his study at the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, said the rise of ramen has less to do with the popularity of tobacco waning and more to do with "punitive frugality," the phenomenon of prisoners and their support networks taking on more of the cost of their own care as prison budgets are slashed.
"Punitive frugality is not a formal prison policy, but rather an observable trend in prison administration practice in institutions throughout the country," Gibson-Light said.
"Throughout the nation, we can observe prison cost-cutting and cost-shifting as well as changes in the informal economic practices of inmates," he said. "Services are cut back and many costs are passed on to inmates in an effort to respond to calls to remain both tough on crime and cost effective."
The researcher said he conducted interviews with about 60 prison inmates and staff members from May 2015 to May 2016, when he also observed prisoners involved in work projects.
"Prison staff members as well as members of the inmate population provided narratives of the history of changes in prison food -- the past few decades have seen steady decreases in the quality and quantity of inmate food," Gibson-Light said.
"Prisoners are so unhappy with the quality and quantity of prison food that they receive that they have begun relying on ramen noodles -- a cheap, durable food product -- as a form of money in the underground economy," he said. "Because it is cheap, tasty, and rich in calories, ramen has become so valuable that it is used to exchange for other goods."
They used to call them penitentiaries.
TO be penitent before God, and yourself about how you came to such a pass.
These are not 5-star hotels. You should get he minimum number of calories required to keep you alive, period. 2000 calories per day and it doesn’t need to be gourmet food either.
Don;t like it.....don’t commit crimes that might land you in prison.
The salt may kill them quicker than tar and nicotine will.
Around here is honey buns...hadn’t heard of ramen...But I can see why they would be a more durable trade good.
Red Robin has a Ramen Hamburger. Try it. You won’t like it! LOL!
Hillary better stock up on ramen noodles then.
How very gay.
It is also a more productive pursuit for jailbirds than giving them state of the art law libraries and exercise rooms where they can make more mischief on society.
[why don’t they grow their own?]
Because expecting them to WORK will be seen by them and SJWs as cruel and unusual punishment.
Plus, you might have some demographics in the prison population that might object to working in a field....
You are right on! Now the crooks are getting treated with kid gloves. They are getting sodas, hoagies, Girl Scout Cookies. Allowed to have up to 200$ a week in commissary. Eating Ben and Jerry’s Ice-cream. Flat screen TVs, cable that is at a reduced rate. They got tablets to (talk to their so-called families). There is Kiosk on the blocks so they can down load music. While here in PA the restitutions are over 2 billion dollars and it is not going down!
Ramen noodles, is more important than booty!! Its more important than water! If I get me some ramen noodle it be like this here. I likes ya! I wants ya! We can do this the easy way or the hard way. I like hard dry crunchy ramen noodles like when I was in the SHU. So I has it the hard way!
Can’t eat that crap. MSG will send me scrambling for an epi pen.
Just great. The styrofoam goes great with things like cleaning fluid and other combustibles. They are just begging for a fire.
Prisoners growing their own food is problematic, because it takes a level of potential corruption out of the food supply process. If no one can get payoffs for the food contracts, there are unhappy mobsters and unions.
Is PA providing the $200/week for their commissary? Or are the families of the inmates providing these funds?
I suspect that they have to PAY FOR their flat screen TVs, ice cream, etc. Who pays for the tablets and music downloads?
Your post suggests that all of these frills are being provided by the state and/or the prison system. Is that true?
Oh, the humanity! Don’t tell me the prisons are serving domestic escargot now???
So why don’t we save money and just serve them ramen noodles?
WALMART_ Nongshim Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup is an instant chicken noodle soup that combines chewy noodles with spicy beef broth. It has a delicious bold flavor. These instant noodle soup packets, 4.2 oz, contain no MSG.
I think post #15 has it closer to the truth.
Growing vegetables is not only a useful activity, but it is very therapeutic. All the evidence suggests that the jailbirds who engage in useful work such as farming and ranching are much less likely to return.
There are cases where they are engaged in other useful activities such as breaking wild horses, training seeing eye dogs for the blind and even common industrial work such as making license plates give positive results over the status quo warehousing and coddling model.
In Japan, all jailbirds are expected to work 10 to 14 hour days with one day off. Those doing more strenuous work get the 10 hours scaled to those doing the least getting the 14 hours. Prison rape and other forms of violence is near zero. Recidivism is typically less than 20%, compared to nearly 70% with our jailbirds.
Interestingly, a good share of that 20% are simply people who've grown accustomed to prison life and want back in. They typically get back in by committing some fairly non violent crime such as riding a train or hailing a taxi with no money to pay.
There is even a television series about some of the creative ways these guys get back in prison. One of these guys enjoyed seasonal work as a farm hand, but by the time late October rolled around, this work got scarce and the temperatures got cold, he had a friend who was a taxi driver who'd drive him back to the prison and not pay. The prison staff was in on the gig and would check him in and, a few days later, call in a judge who would sentence him to prison until the following spring when, of course, he'd get out and go back to work as a farm hand.
This time, of course, his friend the taxi driver would be waiting and get paid by the prison to drive him home, only to repeat the cycle the following autumn.
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