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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: November 29, 2021 02:28 PM
From: Representative Stephen Kinsey
To: All House members
Subject: SCI Nutritional Health Study
More than 40,000 incarcerated individuals rely on the state correctional institutions (SCI) in which they are housed for their nutrition as well as their health and wellness. Incarcerated individuals have a higher prevalence of chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure in comparison to the general population. Although SCIs have standards in place to provide nutritional food to individuals house in the facility, until 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections was using poor quality food as a form of punishment. To this day, behavior-modifying meals are used to correct incarcerated individuals’ misbehavior. It is evident that there have been oversights in food quality and the improper use of food as a means of punishment. 


For this reason, I will introduce a resolution that would require the Joint State Government Commission to study SCI’s nutritional value of food and incarcerated individuals’ health conditions. The commission would examine sources of calcium, fruits, grains, protein and vegetables that are provided with each meal. Furthermore, the number of calories provided over the course of three meals per day would be examined. Moreover, the commission would study the medical and physical health of incarcerated individuals, as well as the prevalence of illness and disease among incarcerated individuals.  


This study would be used to develop legislative recommendations to improve the nutrition and health of incarcerated individuals in SCI facilities. It is essential that we ensure incarcerated individuals are not deprived of their civil rights in regard to their nutrition and health. Please join me in guaranteeing that we take the necessary steps to study incarcerated individuals’ nutrition and health in Pennsylvania’s state correctional institutions in order to safeguard their well-being.

Introduced as HR176