Christmas in prison: a “basic and nutritious” menu for inmates unveiled


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Many of us blow our budgets when it comes to Christmas feasts, with gourmet appetizers and sumptuous spreads of expensive ham, salmon, lamb or turkey, various vegetables, salads. and refined bottles of champagne, complemented by multiple dessert options.

But the Corrections Department will only spend an additional $ 1.10 per prisoner on Dec. 25 – the cost of two festive chopped fruit pies.

Christmas Day in prison will be much like any other day, with a “basic and nutritious meal” and maybe some extra sports and other activities.

Roast chicken and vegetables are on the menu again for inmates this year.  File photo / Department of Corrections
Roast chicken and vegetables are on the menu again for inmates this year. File photo / Department of Corrections

More than 7,500 prisoners in New Zealand will feast on hot roasted meals at a total cost of $ 7.63 per prisoner, the correctional service said in a statement.

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That’s the normal daily menu cost of $ 6.53, plus $ 1.10 for pies.

“A basic and nutritious meal will be served on Christmas Day, with roast chicken and vegetables for lunch, and chicken with rice and salad for dinner, as well as two chopped fruit pies to mark the day.” said Police Chief Neil Beales.

Vegetarians can have breaded spinach and pumpkin patties for lunch, along with falafels, rice, and salad for dinner.

“Our Christmas lunch is the same in the 17 prisons we run across the country and is similar to what has been served on Christmas Day for many years.”

Meals would be prepared by inmates as part of a vocational training program that prepares them for work upon release from prison.

Beales said Christmas could be a very difficult time, especially for the families of the men and women in prison.

“Throughout the month of December, our sites offered Whānau activities where children can read books, give gifts and play games with their mom or dad to celebrate the season.”

Auckland prisons had been unable to arrange face-to-face visits due to Covid restrictions, but inmates had been given additional phone cards to keep in touch with loved ones.

Prison staff and inmates also gave back to the community. The men at Hawkes Bay Regional Jail had sewn 104 Christmas decorations, table runners and 30 Advent calendars, filled with goodies donated by prison staff and donated to local charities.

Men from the Hawkes Bay Regional Jail made Advent calendars and Christmas decorations to donate to charity this year.  Photo / Supplied
Men from the Hawkes Bay Regional Jail made Advent calendars and Christmas decorations to donate to charity this year. Photo / Supplied

Fresh seasonal produce like leeks, lettuce, strawberries and potatoes grown by prisoners had been donated to food banks and charities, and prison staff also collected gifts for the children of the prisoners. prisoners and local charities.

“Christmas gives inmates the opportunity to give back, which we know gives them meaning and pride and helps people feel connected to their community. It can be an important step for one person to make a change. positive in his life, ”Beales said. noted.

Beales also acknowledged corrections staff, many of whom are said to be working during the holidays.

Boxes of goodies donated by the National Corrections Office to the City of Wellington Mission.  Photo / Supplied
Boxes of goodies donated by the National Corrections Office to the City of Wellington Mission. Photo / Supplied


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