Prison inmates are to be allowed to feed themselves by eating scraps from a feeder, according to a federal court order.
The order, released Tuesday, said inmates who can’t feed themselves could have access to a food stamp program and can have up to three meals a day at a nearby facility.
It’s not clear how many inmates could receive such a diet, but a food service worker at a federal prison in Louisiana told the Associated Press that he believes the maximum number of inmates allowed to participate is 15.
The court order allows prisoners to feed their own meals if they have access, though they must do so on the day they are to go into custody, which means that inmates could not participate in a feeding program that’s set to begin in the next two weeks.
The prisoners’ attorney, James Pohlman, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Food and Drug Administration has said that the feeding program will allow prisoners to continue eating and to gain weight.