William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal


Prison food is poor quality. The regulations which govern prison food are subpar and unenforceable by prisoners, due in large part to Sandin v. Conner and the Prison Litigation Reform Act. This Article aims to draw attention to the dire food conditions in prisons, explain the lax federal administrative law that permits these conditions, highlight the role of Sandin v. Conner and the Prison Litigation Reform Act in curtailing prisoners’ rights, and criticize the role of the private entity American Correctional Association in enabling mass neglect of prison food. The authors recommend that the Prison Litigation Reform Act be repealed, that Sandin v. Conner be overturned, and that Food Service Manual standards be improved to provide prisoners with more calories, more options, and more variety. Prisoners will be better positioned to enforce food rights in the courts under the recommended regime.