Inmates at the Cook Country jail in Illinois have developed a penchant for eating pieces of metal and treatment for the odd habit is costing the state millions.
According to an investigative report from CBS Chicago, prisoners have had to receive medical attention for digesting a wide array of metal fragments at the facility.
Screws, buttons, pins, and pieces of a wheelchair are just some of the items reportedly eaten by the inmates.
One particularly voracious eater, Lamont Cathey, has required nearly 20 surgeries due to all of the metal fragments he's consumed.
Between the medical expense for treating these incidents as well as the additional staffing required to keep guard over the prisoners at hospitals, the cost of the bizarre trend is staggering.
"Oh my God, the amount of money we have spent ... I couldn't even calculate it," Sheriff Tom Dart said to CBS Chicago, "I know it's in the millions."
As to why the inmates are eating metal, Dart offered a somewhat understandable motivation: "They're attempting to get out of this place."
We'll take Sheriff's Dart word for it and assume the metal meals are not actually the preferred alternative to prison food.
Source: CBS Chicago