Posted: January 1, 2013 in Detention Center Unit Complex, Food

The one thing that everyone seems to be most concerned about is the food that you will be served.  And they certainly do have something to be concerned with.

In the beginning you will receive food that is extremely bland and in some cases very inedible.  While you are in the DCU you will be fed three meals a day.  It’s your choice to eat them or not.  If you choose not to eat you want to make sure you have some commissary items to get your through the day.  In the DCU  you will definitely want to have a bag of chips or other snacks available.

Keep in mind that all your meals are prepared (at least in the DCU, Atlanta) by the Medium Security Inmates and sent to the DCU. They come in a hot box and are delivered to your cell by Orderlies (other inmates). These inmates will place the food in your food tray and get it to you. If you don’t take the tray, eat your food, and place the tray back in your food tray, you will not get fed. Make sure you always take your food and then decide what you want to eat. Food will get better once you get to the camp. As will your portion size.  You will only have about 10 minutes to eat your meal and get it back to your food tray.

When you start getting things like silverware, cups, and napkins you will want to be somewhat selfish and hoard them.  Unfortunately asking for such items will definitely cause some sort of problem.  Whether it is an orderly that doesn’t want to get them or a CO that doesn’t wish to listen to the likes of some inmate.  Some CO’s are very generous and will help you out.  Others will not say a word to you no matter what the situation is.  The impression is that some of them feel that you are intruding upon their time to watch TV, look at email, or converse with one another.

For myself, I didn’t eat a lot of breakfast simply because it was absolutely gross.  However, I always took my milk and bread. The typical breakfast is usually something hot (pancakes, waffles, grits, eggs, potatoes, sausage), breakfast cake, milk, and coffee/juice. You will not have a choice of what you get to eat.  All the meal boxes are the same unless you have some sort of special meal assigned to you (i.e. no pork, kosher, low-calorie, etc.) Most of the meat you receive is turkey based, i.e. turkey sausage, turkey burgers, etc.  None of it is has a lot of flavor.  Salt and pepper are a great season to allow for it the food to be edible.  Breakfast is served each morning at 6am.

Lunch is typically a better meal, but in the DCU it is not as appetizing as a home cooked meal.  The typical lunch has both a hot plate and a cold plate.  The cold plate is basically a salad and some sort of dessert (cookie, cake, etc).  The one thing that is nice is that you will almost always received 2 slices of bread to go along with the meal.  If the meal is great tasting, you always have bread to eat.  The lunch meals again vary from day-to-day, but they can be pretty consistent.  It may be fried chicken, spaghetti, chili, a hamburger, or some other food.  These are definitely more appetizing than breakfast, but again have very little flavor.  The quantity of food is not that great, but just bear with it, because it will get better.  Lunch is typically served around 10:30am.  You will be given juice packets that you have to mix with water, but they are not very good.  Otherwise the only drink you have available to you is tap water from the sink in your cell.

Dinner is very much like lunch, but does not often include a dessert or a salad.  Typically it is only served in a single tray.  Again, make sure you eat all that you can.  Again it will extremely tasteless, but if you don’t have any commissary items it will be your last bit of food until 6am the following morning.  Dinner is typically served between 4:30 and 5:00pm.  You will be given juice packets that you have to mix with water, but they are not very good.  Otherwise the only drink you have available to you is tap water from the sink in your cell.

The one great thing is holidays.  During holidays (Federal) you will receive special meals such as BBQ Ribs, Steaks, and Ice Cream.  This is something that is a privilege and is not guaranteed.  All of it depends on the Kitchen CO.  They are the ones who make the determination about what exactly is served and how it is prepared.  As long as you are in the DCU though you will be limited in what you can eat.  Once you get the camp things will change, but again it all depends on the CO.

The first few weeks you will lose some weight, guaranteed.  Don’t worry your weight will come back in time.  You just have to get used to all quantity and type of food you are given.

  1. Dautrice Bush says:

    My husband was recently transferred to Atlanta USP and he’s disgusted with the filth of the prison and someone found a rat head in their food. I know that they are in prison but damn even animals get better treatment. It’s amazing to me that humans are looked in a cage and treated like animals but if a human treat an animal in this manner it’s a crime. REALLY???? Only in America!!! The land of the free and the home of the brave, if you never commit a crime.

    • Bryan says:

      Wow! It’s been over a year since I was there and I don’t know where your husband is located (behind the wall, DCU, or the Camp). I know while I was there (at the camp) it was very clean. As a matter of fact the inmates were very meticulous about ensuring the cleanliness of their cubicles.

      Like I said, it has been a while since I was there and things may have changed. A lot of it is dependent on the Officer in Charge of the various areas. These change about every quarter. I’m so sorry your husband is experiencing that. You’re correct, there is no reason for this type of environment is horrible.

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