Judge Finds Prisoners Aren't Being Tortured by Powdered Milk

Canadian prisoner had complained, but judge dismissed his grievance
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2018 11:36 AM CDT
Judge Finds Prisoners Aren't Being Tortured by Powdered Milk
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / Paperkites)

A Canadian inmate has lost his fight over powdered milk. The prisoner filed a grievance over the Correctional Service of Canada's policy of using the powdered dairy product rather than liquid milk, which was enacted in his facility in 2015, arguing that it violated his rights. William Johnson had claimed that he and other inmates cannot drink powdered milk (noting that the "majority of society dislikes and/or are unable to drink mixed powdered milk") and were thus "being denied their daily nutritional intake." Johnson stated that he previously used non-powdered milk in his cereal and was now prevented from consuming cereal as well. But a Federal Court judge last week dismissed Johnson's application for judicial review, finding that serving powdered milk to prisoners "does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment," as Justice Alan Diner wrote in his ruling.

He further found Johnson provided no evidence to substantiate his "alleged medical inability to consume powdered milk." The attorney general argued that Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms "does not protect against trivial limitations of rights." The CBC notes that since a 2014 government decision having to do with lowering prison food costs, there have been many complaints in Canada about what is served in prison, how much of it is served, and how high in quality it is. A 2015 CBC article noted that the food was being blamed for causing malnourishment, vomiting, and diarrhea. Vice News reports things came to a head in 2016, when a riot at a Saskatchewan prison left one inmate dead; a probe into the incident found "inmate dissatisfaction with food" was a triggering cause. (Read about another odd milk story, this one involving aardvark milk.)

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