Redshirt is a slang term for a minor stock character in an adventure drama who dies violently soon after being introduced to dramatize the dangerous situation faced by the main characters. The term originated with the science fiction television series Star Trek, from the red shirts worn by Starfleet security officers, who frequently beamed down with a landing party, only to become the first, and sometimes only, victims within the party.
Nutraloaf, sometimes called prison loaf, confinement loaf, seg loaf, or special management meal, is a food served in United States prisons to inmates who have demonstrated significant behavioral issues. It is similar to meatloaf in texture, but has a wider variety of ingredients. Prisoners may be served nutraloaf if they have assaulted prison guards or fellow prisoners with sharpened utensils. Prison loaf is usually exceedingly bland in taste, perhaps even unpleasant, but prison wardens argue that nutraloaf provides enough nutrition to keep prisoners healthy without requiring utensils to be issued.
Although prison loaf has been employed in many United States prisons, its use is controversial.
The standards of the American Correctional Association, which accredits prisons, discourage the use of food as a disciplinary measure, but adherence to the organization’s food standards is voluntary. Denying inmates food as punishment has been found to be unconstitutional by the courts, but because the loaf is generally nutritionally complete, it is sometimes justified as a “dietary adjustment” rather than a denial of proper meals.
Lawsuits have taken place in several states regarding nutraloaf, including Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, and West Virginia. In March 2008, prisoners brought their case before the Vermont Supreme Court, arguing that, since Vermont state l aw does not allow food to be used as punishment, nutraloaf must be removed from the menu.