Hundreds of inmates at a Chicago jail can now order pizza to be delivered to their cells, authorities said.
The new service at Cook County Jail began late April as part of the facility’s cooking program in an effort to teach detainees useful skills to help them land jobs after their release, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart told TIME on Wednesday. Taught by a local chef, inmates in the medium-security, all-male division of the jail cook the pies, deliver them and eat them.
“The pizza is outrageously good,” Dart said, adding that they’re made in a wood-fired pizza oven. “You would swear you are in a top-of-the-line fancy restaurant in the heart of downtown Chicago.”
More than 200 pies have been ordered since the April 20 rollout, according to Cara Smith, a spokeswoman at the sheriff’s office. The delivery service, which was first reported by the Chicago Tribune, is offered to about 1,500 inmates in the jail division.
The only catch is there is no guaranteed quick delivery. Inmates can place their orders by submitting an official paper form, but it can take days for the pizza to arrive due to a rolling schedule among detainees. Pies ordered on Monday morning can be delivered that afternoon or as late as Friday. “It’s not like Dominos,” Smith said.
The pies range between $5 and $7, depending on the type of toppings desired.
The sheriff said the program gives inmates confidence and a set of viable skills to take with them when they leave jail. “This is about helping people get jobs,” he said. “It builds an incredible sense that they’re worth something.”
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