A Washington State jail is leveraging a popular commissary item, ramen noodles, to encourage inmates to get vaccinated. The Benton County jail is offering ten free ramen soups to anyone who receives their first COVID-19 shot while incarcerated there.
The jail, which houses about 360 inmates, has already handed out 900 packs of ramen during the first three weeks of the “Soups for Shots” campaign. Any inmate who has not yet received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine is eligible.
Flyers have been hung around the jail to promote the program. The posters are decorated with a close-up photo of dry soup noodles.
“To sign up, just send a kite to medical requesting to be vaccinated,” one of the posters for the program reads. “You will receive your soups after you receive your first dose of vaccine.”
Scott Souza, chief of corrections for the jail, told The Oregonian that the facility has shared information about the incentive program with other jails in the state.
Other facilities around the country have also implemented an incentive program to get inmates vaccinated. Sedgwick County Jail in Wichita, Kansas is offering up $10 worth of commissary items to inmates that get the shot. Inmates incarcerated in the Alabama prison system are eligible for $5 in commissary credits for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.