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23 MCSO inmates on hunger strike over quality of food

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Posted at 4:42 PM, Nov 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-02 16:05:26-04

More than 20 inmates in the custody of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office are reportedly on a hunger strike.

The 23 inmates want better tasting food and three meals a day instead of two.

Sheriff Paul Penzone spoke Wednesday about the issue, and says inmates are fed twice a day -- once in the morning and once in the evening.

“Am I concerned that what we do is humane? Absolutely. But if you're asking if my priority is satisfying the taste buds of our inmates? It's not,” Penzone said. “My priority is taking care of the men and women of this organization to make sure our community is safe. That's as simple as I can make it."

Penzone says the meals they provide meet FDA nutritional requirements and add up to 2,600 calories a day. He says they have a full-time nutritionist and that the meals have also been court approved.

The striking inmates are reportedly just a few meals into the strike.

“Quite frankly, if the issue is the taste of the food, my recommendation to you is don’t commit crimes and come to jail,” Penzone said.

Stay with ABC15 and abc15.com for the latest on this developing situation.