VT high court says special prison meal punishment

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The Vermont Supreme Court says the state’s prison inmates who use utensils to throw bodily waste can’t be placed on a special diet without first going through a disciplinary process.

The Department of Corrections had argued that giving inmates "Nutraloaf" was not punishment, but rather a tool to change an inmate’s behavior.

Nutraloaf is a specially made complete meal served without utensils. It consists of whole wheat bread, nondairy cheese, carrots, canned spinach, raisins, beans and other food.

Department of Corrections officials have said they average about one case of Nutraloaf a month.

But a group of inmates sued. They argued they couldn’t be placed on a diet of Nutraloaf without due process.

The high court agreed.

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