The situation of the meal in US prisons is issued in a recent article.
The Guardian: Prison food politics: the economics of an industry feeding 2.2 million
The US is suffering from a shortage of budget in maintaining prisons. In Minnesota, only less than 1.20 USD per incarcerate are spent for a daily meal, according to the media. Nowadays, many private companies are responsible for offering foods for prisoners. They also contribute to cut the cost of food. But, there is no official data available for comparing the food spending in prison in the US.
In Japan, food in prison is surprisingly good, according to some popular people who were incarcerated previously, such as Takafumi Horie. They are generally satisfied to the meal. Sweets are rarely provided, expected to be regularly offered. In the past, Japanese prison food was infamous as being called “Kusai-meshi,” or stinking rice. But recently, the Japanese government made progress in improving the management of prison setting following the revision of the Act on Penal Detention Facilities and Treatment of Inmates and Detainees.
It is very good I think. In general, Japanese prisons had been inferior to those in Europe. It makes increased rate of recidivism, I guess. Providing adequate welfare to criminals makes them less likely to recommit a crime. In recent years, prison officers in Japan seem to be willing to make progress on this issue.
I have heard a similar story in a psychiatric hospital. One of the hospitals having many chronic patients offered their daily meal for 300 yen (three USD) per day. The department of feeding service was respected for cost cutting. But the quality of food was so terrible that I hardly took a mandatory examination of the meal.
Food is a basis of human life. I hear that extremists give minimal foods to live to hostages. It gets rid of the power of opposing from the prisoner. As well, poor food makes us less respectful for anything. We can be more aware of the importance of quality as well as the quantity of the food.