Chicagoans love pizza. Or at least that thing they refer to as "pizza," even though it’s really more of a cheese pie topped with a gallon of sauce.
(We’re not insulting it—it’s delicious—we’re just more of pizza purists, ourselves.)
And for Chicagoans, that love of the 'za means a steadfast belief that no citizen, regardless of their station, should ever be without access to fresh hot pies—even in prison.
Yes, the Chicago Tribune reports that, thanks to a new program, medium-security prisoners in the Cook County Jail now have the opportunity to get freshly made pizzas delivered right to their cells. Sherriff Tom Dart approved the program, which sees a division of inmates preparing and cooking the pizzas inside the jail's own pizza oven, and delivering them for a fee to inmates around the jail. (Prison guards are also able to purchase the pizzas, though they apparently “want nothing to do with anything made by detainees,” which, if you’ve ever watched five minutes of Oz, is totally understandable.)
For $5, inmates can purchase a standard margeherita pizza, or for $7 a fancy "four seasons" pie, complete with mushrooms, soppressata, olives and eggs. (While those low prices could likely give Domino’s a run for its money, it’s worth noting that the average salary for prison work is between 93 cents and 4 dollars per day.)
The revenue from sold pizzas, 208 pies and counting, is funneled back into the jail’s “Recipe for Change” program headed up by Bruno Abate, an Italian immigrant and chef who aims to pass skills on to inmates that can be used for securing work after their release. He tells the Tribune his main focus is “to improve inmates' self-esteem and love of food.”
Here's the real question, though—are the pies Chicago-style deep dish, or New York-style thin crust?
From the photos, it appears that they're thin crust. Which initially sounds like a win for New York, but on second thought, we're not so sure. It seems like this prison might be throwing some shade at its New York-style pizza competition. If it's good enough for inmates, it's good enough for...?
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