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Impact Justice, a California-based nonprofit organization that researches and advocates for justice reform, released a 2020 report on prison food that found that at least 36 states require or allow using an alternative meal as discipline. Leslie Soble, a folklorist and ethnographer, manages the Food in Prison project at Impact Justice and is the lead author of the 2020 report.

‘For people to consistently receive meals that don’t show care, that basically communicate the message of you’re less than human – hearing that message over and over again, meal after meal, day after day really eats away at people and their sense of humanity and their sense of self,’ she said.”

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