‘Ottawa’ Pricey New Jail Food Carts Deliver Disappointment
Inmates filed 32 complaints to the Ontario Ombudsman’s office in a single day last month about new custom-made insulated food carts that cost the jail thousands of dollars each.
The 21 stainless steel carts that cost an average of $5,476.19 each showed up at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre in early April in an effort to improve food quality at the beleaguered jail on Innes Road. But no one seems to like them.
The prisoners hate the new carts because they have caused up to hour-long delays in getting their meals. Since inmates are locked in their cells during meal times, the delays chew into the time they would normally be allowed out of their cells to shower, watch TV or use the phone.
Correctional officers, meanwhile, also complain the new carts are large, heavy, hard to push and can’t go into the same places as the old ones. They also wonder why the ministry spent so much money to solve a problem that they say didn’t exist.