Why New Zealand Prisons Spent $700,000 On Slushy Machines For Guards

Y'know how everyone's tempers flare when the temperature rises? Apparently during a heat wave in New Zealand over the 2017-18 summer, "the risk of violent incidents increased in hot conditions, the department said, and measures had to be taken to try to keep staff and prisoners safe," according to The Guardian. After that record-breaking summer, prison officials purchased about $700,000 U.S. dollars' worth of slushy machines for guards. Chief custodial officer Neil Beales told The Guardian that slushies help reduce body temperature in extreme heat conditions, and are "up to three times more effective when compared to drinking water."

Granted, many people today are scoffing at the slushies, calling the purchase a waste of taxpayers' money. But The Guardian points out the summer after the slushy purchase, there were no major incidents between prisoners and guards, despite the summer heat.

Prison food is notoriously not that great—as The Takeout's Kevin Pang found out firsthand when he met the cellblock chefs of Westville Correctional Facility in Illinois—it would be nice if the cooling effects of the slushies were extended to prisoners as well. Regardless, this summer when you're heating up and fruitlessly chugging ice water to try to cool down, you may want to take a page from New Zealand's book and try a slushy instead. Or a frosé?