My Letter to the Governor of Illinois
by Stanley Fishman, Hartke is Online! Contributor
Dear Governor Quinn:
I am a resident of California, not Illinois. But concern for human rights does not end at state lines.
I am appalled by the suffering inflicted upon Illinois prisoners who are forced to eat a high soy diet. Many of these prisoners have suffered terribly from the effects of processed soy toxins. This suffering clearly violates the constitutional provisions banning cruel and unusual punishment.
Many of these prisoners are plaintiffs in an action against the state of Illinois because of their suffering from the high soy diet.
It has been established that a poor diet can cause prisoners to become violent and uncooperative.
I realize that the policy of forcing prisoners to eat a high soy diet was instituted by your predecessor. I am now asking you to change that policy and provide these prisoners with a good natural diet through their own efforts.
Virginia and other states have prisoners raise their own food. I ask that you institute a program whereby the soy is replaced with food raised by the prisoners themselves, both vegetables and livestock. This would be completely consistent with the Illinois Farm Foods Jobs Act, and would enable prisoners to actually help supply Illinois with organic produce.
It has been shown time and time again that giving prisoners a good diet and meaningful work is the best way to rehabilitate them. What work could be more meaningful than having the prisoners raise good, organic food that they would eat? This would not only give them a feeling of accomplishment, but they would actually experience the benefits of healthy food.
The prisoners would almost certainly raise more food than they could eat, and the surplus could be sold to help with the cost of their incarceration. The healthy diet of organic food would greatly reduce the medical costs of the Illinois prison system.
In summary, replacing processed soy foods with organic food raised by the prisoners would:
1. Stop the cruel and unusual punishment of Illinois prisoners;
2. Help rehabilitate the prisoners and provide them with useful job skills;
3. Improve the mental and physical health of the prisoners, thus reducing medical costs;
4. Help fulfill the objectives of the Illinois Farm Foods Jobs Act;
5. Increase the organic food supply in Illinois, while raising money for the prison system.
Note from Kimberly:
I illustrated this post with a red envelope, because this letter is a form of love and compassion for our fellow man. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a letter like this go to Governor Quinn from all 50 States and even a few foreign countries? It is easy to do. I plan to write my letter and submit it online. I challenge each of my blog readers to submit their letter, and then comment on this post. Tell us what state/country you are from and one key point your letter made. Stanley has said that all are welcome to use ideas from his letter. I would recommend customizing it a little, though.
Read yesterday’s blog post about the prison soy case that inspired Stan to write the governor.
Here is the Illinois Governor’s contact info:
Governor Pat Quinn
Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
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