Fewer Meals for IL Inmates Costlier Than Thought

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Serving Illinois prisoners two meals a day instead of three was supposed to save the state money.

But Corrections Department officials told lawmakers this week it cost $200,000 at each of the two prisons that have implemented the "brunch" program so far.

Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer now says the main goal is to reduce inmate movement -- a cost savings -- and avoid serving breakfast in dark morning hours.

Canton and Galesburg prisons have begun the program and the Mount Sterling lockup could follow soon. Shaer says more might start after Jan. 1 and the cost should be less.

Prison director S.A. "Tony" Godinez said in 2012 it would save $2 million a year. Shaer says there might yet be future savings but security is the top concern.

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