A jail in Washington state is offering ramen noodles as an incentive to encourage inmates to get COVID vaccine shots

·2 min read
ramen noodles
Benton County Jail in Kennewick, Washington has been giving ramen noodles to inmates who sign up for their first COVID-19 vaccine dose. Shutterstock
  • A jail in Washington state is offering ramen noodles as an incentive to inmates who get their first vaccine dose.

  • Benton County Jail corrections officers started the "Soups for Shots" program earlier this month, The Olympian reported.

  • Each participant could get "10 free ramen noodle soups."

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A jail in Washington state is offering inmates ramen noodles as an incentive to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Benton County Jail, located in Kennewick, Washington, has been giving out the beloved commissary item to those who sign up for their first vaccine jab in a program called "Soups for Shots," The Olympian reported.

A poster advertising the program says participants get "10 free ramen noodle soups," according to the report.

Since corrections officers started the program at the beginning of August, 900 ramen noodle packets have been distributed to 90 inmates, according to Scott Souza, chief of corrections at the Benton County Corrections Department.

"We're doing everything we can do to incentivize vaccination and we are getting an outstanding response," Souza told The Olympian.

As Insider previously reported, research shows that prisoners were more likely to contract the coronavirus behind bars.

Benton County Jail is not the only facility to offer vaccine incentives to its inmate population. In Alabama prisons, inmates can receive $5 commissary credits if they get the shot, ABC News reported. And Sedgwick County Jail in Wichita, Kansas has been offering $10 worth of commissary items to encourage vaccinations, according to KWCH-TV.

"The goal is to mitigate COVID-19 in the jail as much as possible. It's a correctional environment," Lt. Jared Schechter told the news station. "We're running at capacity or more above capacity today on inmates, and so social distancing is very difficult to do in a correctional environment."

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