There are plenty of online sites and apps that let you order food off a menu for delivery. But only one makes deliveries to inmates at the Allegheny County Jail.
Target 11 first started looking into “The Outside Inside Connection” after a complaint from a local judge.
We found a program that allows people to order food like hamburgers, nachos, burritos and chicken tenders, and send them to inmates. The program is run by the same company that provides food at the jail.
We talked to a woman who has used the online site before.
“Even though they have a lot of bad people in here doing a lot of bad things, I really think that’s one of the great things they are offered,” the woman said
The food is made inside the jail and delivered to inmates on Wednesday afternoons. Warden Orlando Harper says they are only allowed one specialty meal per week.
“You need to come up with tools to actually manage good behavior,” Harper told Target 11.
Allegheny County gets 30 percent of every sale. The program started in 2016 and since that time has made the county $108,000. The warden tells Target 11 it’s less about the money and more about managing 2,400 inmates.
“I’m saying if I can give a little perk here and a little perk there to make inmates comply with rules and regulations, I’m going to do that,” Harper said.
To those who don’t agree with the program, the warden he had one thing to say:
“Put yourself in the same situation. If your family member was in jail, your daughter, your son, your father, would you want to send that package to them?”
Target 11 checked with jails in Westmoreland and Beaver counties. Neither provide this type of service. The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections allows relatives to purchase prepackaged foods like chips and crackers, but doesn’t offer items like burgers, nachos and fries.