This in no way surprises me. I had this thought a year or so ago that we ought to provide better nutrition in prison as a primary means of rehabilitation. I think I tried to blog about it and it didn't go well. I eventually moved on.
But I am glad to see this article. I hope this idea gets acted upon, the sooner, the better.
After adding basically a 100% RDA vitamin and a fish oil pill, many of them reported being amazed to discover having self control for the first time in their lives.
even worse because of the compounding frustration and lack of understanding for why coupled with the feeling of not having eaten a proper, hunger satiating meal.
In the case of the current prison population, it is even worse than that because they are simply assumed to be violent, maladjusted etc and no one at all wonders if their health impacts it, even in cases where they have a diagnosis of being HIV positive or having TB. When a middle class person is having a health crisis and acts out, the odds are good that people will cut them some slack and hope they feel better soon. When a prisoner does so, hey, he is just a criminal with no redeeming value and we should lock him up and throw away the key.
Of course this has to be against all sorts of laws and conventions so I doubt it's publicly traded knowledge but the whole idea reminds me of the grey area psychologists and interrogation specialists tend to talk about when topics like water boarding and other torture / effective interrogation methods are questioned.
Using food as something that can be modified to achieve a desired behavior is not a new thing. Applying scientific methods to it is more recent.
Historically, I have a couple of basic assault charges, an assault with sexual intent charge, I was charged with two counts of trafficking a controlled drug (later dropped), ~13 year history of meth-amphetamine use and abuse. I've always had a short fuse, quick to anger, often frustrated, easily startled. My primary school nickname was "Psycho".
More recently I've started taking 6000 - 10,000 IU of Vitamin D as well.
Now, I know what I am, and I'll tell you: my moral compass; it's fucked. But since I've been taking a boat load of magnesium and D I feel way more calm and in control; I can easily shrug off all sorts of things that have historically rubbed me the wrong way. Suicidal ideation as completely disappeared, I don't feel anxious or depressed any more.
The difference has been night and fucking day.
I was never officially diagnosed, but one of my sisters has a Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis, I've recently convinced her to start taking the same regime. She commented just two days ago that someone dropped something next to her at the supermarket that made a loud noise, where in the past she would have jumped out of her skin and felt disturbed for the rest of the day, this time she didn't even flinch.
If you need magnesium, you probably also need calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K. IIRC, magnesium and calcium should be taken in a 2 to 1 ratio. Since you have already added vitamin D, you might consider adding calcium and vitamin K.
Like magnesium, calcium is another mineral known to have calming effects.
If you are up for additional experimenting, search for Celtic Sea Salt. It is sold online. It is not only a high quality salt, it has a high percentage of micro nutrients. I no longer need it, in part because I moved to a coastal area where those nutrients are available for free in the very air, but it played a critical role in my healing process, especially when combined with the right carbs (aloe or potato, basically) and healthy fats, like MCT oils.
~13 year history of meth-amphetamine use and abuse.
FWIW, I view this is as self medicating for unidentified health issues (whether physical or mental health or both). I firmly believe treating the underlying health issues can help put a stop to it.
My father drank very heavily for years while he was in the military. He quit after he left the military. He did so without ever going to any kind of treatment program. This fact has had a strong influence on my views of addiction. I do not buy the 12 step program model of demonizing both drugs and the people who take them. I think that model is actually harmful to people and makes the problem worse. I firmly believe drug use is done for a reason and if you can resolve the root causes behind it, it can just stop because you don't need it anymore, without necessarily doing any wrestling with it.
For me, severe frustration is evidence of a selenium deficiency.
I remember reading an article here a few years ago saying that in a lot of low-income neighbourhoods in the US, the only food options are relatively unhealthy. There are no proper grocery stores nearby, and the residents can’t afford to travel further to them, so they are stuck eating whatever unhealthy and low nutrition food the local corner store has (e.g. frozen fries and pasta instead of fresh fruit and vegetables).
The incident that caused me to think that nutrition should be part of prison rehab was one where I was just inexplicably mad as hell and we resolved it by feeding me an orange every day for the vitamin C. I was like "Holy cow! I bet just getting the right nutrients into prisoners would make them less prone to violence and other problem behaviors."
So as a wild guess: This is probably a significant factor.
There are lots and lots of things wrong in the world. That fact is absolutely not justification for pissing on an idea that is simple, cheap, effective and has real merit as just one piece of the solution to the large puzzle of deeper problems in the US.
Nutrition has played a very, very large role in my ability to solve my personal problems, raise my income and get off the street. It also has played a very large role in gradually making me more psychologically stable. I didn't say that in my initial comment elsewhere in this discussion because I get tired of being told I talk too much about myself, I am just an attention monger, it is merely anecdotal, etc etc etc. But that is why I had the thought that nutrition in prison could play a very serious role in actual rehabilitation.
If you posit that most people in prison are from generally marginalized and poor populations, you can assume many of them never had proper nutrition at all in their lives. Feeding them well so they can grow both stronger and mentally better could be a small means to make prison a way to break the cycle of poverty and desperation, a small means for society to try to make real amends instead of merely heaping more abuse on such people.
Ideally, I would like to see more non-prison programs that are civilized, civilizing, caring and all that. But those are quite hard to create. It is hard to make good programs.
These people are some of the most ill, most destitute, most crapped on by society. None of your points here in any way whatsoever justifies advocating that they should merely be grateful for their chicken and Fritos and otherwise fuck 'em, they can quit their bitching.
No, the point of prison IS rehabilitation not punishment. It is senseless, stupid and cruel to punish people even if that does not improve their behavior - it helps no one. And prison is not EITHER punishment OR rehab, its a mix, and the more we move it towards rehab the better it is for everyone.
Besides, your argument is "oh some people in Africa can't eat chicken, so what the fuck is anyone complaining about?" is ridiculous. Some people don't get vaccinations, healthcare, shelter either so by that logic why don't we just throw all the prisoners onto an island huh?
Prisoners are people, not subhuman trash to be discarded as you would like.
By all means, take a vitamin if you need one.
This is madness. Period. Something is being done fundamentally wrong and going catastrophically too far. Simply building more prisons is not a solution.
And the fact the convicts are not given vitamins and other essential nutrients supplements has always seemed ridiculous and outrageous to me. Simply terminating them could be more humane than keeping them junk-fed letting their bodies and brains decay freely, taking not just their freedom but also their health (including mental health) away from them. This is not a way you can cure people from their behaviour disorders.
> Average USA cost to keep one inmate locked up for a year: $31,000
By the way, any person that would earn this much a year is considered rich in Eastern Europe and Russia, the majority of people there live on less than $1000/month and those of them who care about health still get all the vitamin/mineral/aminoacid supplements and sound healthcare they need (+ education, sport, yoga/minfulness classes, entertainment, travelling, living etc) . Needless to say almost none of the people who earn $1000/month or more are prone to commit felony there (unless they drink a way too much booze), they just live happily usually as they have everything they need, feel safe and satisfied. This suggests that just giving the $31,000 or less to a man will probably do much better for him and the society than spending it on keeping him in the dreadful conditions described in the article. This reminds me of the idea of basic income again...
So it’s not quite that simple... but yes there is probably a better way to spend the money than it is now.
This is a webpage about "orthomolecuar medicine". This isn't a real thing, it's a quack theory that vitamins are some wonder drug that help against everything. It's been largely discredited.
The evidence for vitamin supplements is extremely clear: Except for some rare circumstances (special deficiencies and illnesses) they are largely a waste of money.
You're begging the question by labeling vitamin deficiencies in this population as "rare." But that's not true.
"Vitamin D deficiency occurred in 50.5% of blacks, 29.3% of whites, and 14.3% of Asian inmates (p = 0.007). Black inmates had significantly lower serum 25(OH)D level than white inmates at the maximum security level (p = 0.015), medium security level (p = 0.001), but not at the minimum security level (p = 0.40). After adjusting for covariates black inmates at a maximum security level had a four-fold higher risk for vitamin D deficiency than white inmates at the same security level (OR 3.9 [95% CI 1.3–11.7]."
Why Vitamin D? Because the 600 IU RDA (the amount prisons must legally put in their food) is way too low.
Considering how cranky I get if I miss my vitamin D, it's not hard to posit a link between deficiency and increases in aggressive/violent behavior, especially in populations with a high rate of pre-existing mental illness.
Athletes and those who don't get enough sun, like most in the northern parts of the United States with the abrupt switch to being indoors far more than usual in the last 100 years?
It's not that rare. If you mean the bullshit industry, sure, but this attitude of "all vitamins are obtained through food" is simply not true and been proven repeatedly false - especially for athletes.
If they means vitamins, so be it. If that means having the inmates run a vegetable garden, so be it.
I know I'm rambling but sometimes it helps to state the obvious.
If yes, then a Vitamin pill Might fix the problem - although vitamins pills are impressively high in vitamins and minerals, the absorption in the body could be quite limited. but, if it does fix the TB and disease problem, then its probably a great investment. I mean you can get like half a years worth of vitamin pills for just 30$.
But, if Vitamin pills aren't being absorbed properly, then we'll need to feed them foods high in vitamins. Depending on the deficiency, we can find the foods that are the very highest in a nutrient using my tool here: https://kale.world/c
This tool can find the foods with the very highest nutrient density for vitamins:A,b,c,e,k and lots of minerals, etc.
For instance, we all know Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy. So, if you use the tool, you'll see that the top sources for vitamin C are: red peppers, broccoli, kale, cauliflower. They are so high in vit C, they would only need a small amount of it, to reach their daily recommended amount. As little as 40 cals of broccoli gets you to your RDA.
I'm guessing a third party has a fat contract to provide bad food.
You also need sun (Vitamin D), which is not always an option for prisoners kept inside for 24 hours per day.
So while you are correct, most people don't go to prison for smoking a joint, many do go to jail for smoking a joint. They then sit in jail awaiting their day in court to plead their case and receive their sentence which is often no more than a monetary fine.
"If you take a multivitamin, it's probably because you want to do everything you can to protect your health. But there is still limited evidence that a daily cocktail of essential vitamins and minerals actually delivers what you expect. The latest round of studies, published in December in Annals of Internal Medicine, found no benefit from multivitamins in protecting the brain or heart."
We've seen that deficiencies cause disease, but there seems to be little evidence that vitamin supplement pills prevent it.
So that's pretty good evidence for benefits, and it is certainly a relatively inexpensive intervention.
Studies of the benefits of multivitamins for otherwise healthy people aren't really relevant.
But these studies are on general population, different from the prison population which is probably undernourished. And the article cites a study on prisoners which shows vitamins (and supplementary fatty acids) reduce violent behavior: http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/bjprcpsych/181/1/22.full.pdf
Maybe it would be cheaper just to give them healthier food.
How about no cost vitamins for everyone? Seems like that might ultimately save the tax payers money.
Really the argument can extend beyond vitamins. Meeting people's basic biological needs (adequate nutrition, shelter, clean drinking water) without pre-conditions seems like it would save a lot of problems and thus money in general.
Instead I so often hear people and politicians rail against WIC, food stamps, and free school lunches. As if $150 month for groceries or letting infants and school children not starve is somehow too generous. We must punish people for being poor.
Maybe we don't all think that precisely, but that attitude and feeling is the pervasive norm that allows politicians to be "tough on crime" by locking people up for longer, why calls for reform by prisoners are ignored. Once you stop considering criminals as other humans like yourself but instead mentally model them as 'bad guys', it's easy to agree to doing things harmful to them. Once they stop being humans, there's no need to have empathy for them.
There's only so many Charles Mansons out there, people too far gone to help. Most people in jail could be contributing to society if society would just help them get back up.
And, it's not just private prisons that are profiting when more people go to prison (though that is among the most obvious and egregious abuses of the system). State and local prisons and jails also sell their captive labor force to the highest bidder, and use them for government work, as well, passing on only a small percentage of the proceeds to the workers.
Every American should feel a deep shame about the whole damned thing...but, as you note, we've got a real fondness for the wicked getting their just desserts, and as far as most Americans are concerned, if someone is in prison they deserve whatever horrible thing is done to them. So, "tough on crime" politicians get to make their donors happy, and nobody cares about the human lives destroyed for the profit of a few.
Of course, that doesn't mean that costs can be sent to the taxpayer while profits are routed to somebody else.
But that is how many things are. Once again, lobbyists manipulate lawmakers into doing things they would not do if voters had their interests more faithfully represented.
So, yeah, it's wasteful of taxpayer money, but also extremely profitable for the few people who have the lobbyists and the ability to exploit the system.
Both Armenian and Calvinist views operate in the context of the doctrine of total depravity, which can be best summarised as “no one is good except God alone” (Mk 10:18). Under this framework, a Calvinist view should actually lead to increased humility (not superiority over others), because not only is grace and salvation completely undeserved, it is given in spite of a total inability to choose it of ones own accord, and a propensity to try and do the opposite.
Secondly, predestination almost entirely refers to final judgement by God alone, so to conflate a human justice system with that is a grave theological error. Especially a justice system as flawed and ineffective as the one in the United States.