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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Instead of dropping the soap

try making PRUNO:

Pruno, a prison wine created from fruit, sugar and ketchup, is such a vile and despicable beast in the California state penal system that prisoners can't eat fresh fruit at lunch.

Back in December 2002, the warden at Lancaster prison in Los Angeles County removed fresh fruit from box lunches in the maximum-security lockup, as an effort to reduce violence. Apparently, sober, scurvy-addled felons are much easier to control than drunken, violent convicts.

So, perhaps this plan is flawed. And perhaps it's also worth noting that exactly one year earlier at a different L.A. County prison -- the Peter J. Pitchess Detention Center in Santa Clarita Valley -- hatched a scheme to let inmates pick grapes at a winery and shag golf balls at a local driving range. While the County's effort to combat pruno are suspect, there's no deny that pruno is a huge problem, increasing the levels of violence and allowing convicts to continue their had habits while in prison.

In the first 270 days of 2002, staff at Lancaster prison were assaulted 102 times -- about once every three days.

By most accounts, pruno isn't something a normal human would want to drink, so potent that two gallons is said to be "a virtual liquor store," enough to get a dozen people mindblowingly wasted. And while it tastes so putrid that even hardened prisoners gulp it down while holding their noses, they'll go to incredible lengths to make it, whipping up batches from frosting, yams, raisins and damn near everything.

What's all this fuss about? Check The Black Table's recipe.

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