What’s for lunch in Suffolk’s prison on Christmas Day?
Prison bosses have revealed the menu for inmates in Suffolk’s jails this Christmas.
Meals for almost 2,000 prisoners at Highpoint, Hollesley Bay and Warren Hill will be funded from the existing budget, and at no extra cost to the taxpayer, insisted the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).
Last year, each meal cost more than double the daily prisoner allowance at Hollesley Bay and Warren Hill, near Woodbridge.
This Christmas Day, they will choose from a traditional three-course menu or alternative halal, vegan and vegetarian options.
Starters are limited to tomato soup and a roll for all inmates, who then get turkey, stuffing, bacon, new or roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, gravy and cranberry sauce on the traditional menu, while the halal main course includes half a roast chicken, halal sausage, stuffing, potatoes, sprouts, carrots, gravy and cranberry sauce.
Both are followed by Christmas pudding and sauce or tinned fruit, which is the only dessert option for vegans and vegetarians, whose main course includes Quorn roast, vegetable sausage, stuffing, potatoes, sprouts, carrots, gravy and cranberry sauce.
At Highpoint, in Stradishall, prisoners miss out on a starter but get a choice of main meal from turkey with cranberry sauce; halal chicken leg with jerk sauce; pork with apple sauce; quinoa, walnut and parsley loaf, or vegan schnitzels in mushroom sauce – all served with optional potatoes, rice, sprouts, vegetables, stuffing, pigs in blankets and gravy, followed by Christmas pudding or fruit salad with cream for dessert.
The cost per prisoner in 2017 was £2.65 at Highpoint, and £4.20 at Warren Hill and Hollesley Bay.
The usual daily allowance for a prisoner is £2.02 per day.
An MoJ spokesman said meals were funded from existing budgets at no extra cost to the taxpayer, adding: “With increased responsibilities to governors since April 2017, and devolved budgets to prisons, what is actually spent on food per prisoner per day, and the breakdown per meals, is ultimately a decision for each governor and catering team.”
In November, figures showed the annual cost of housing an inmate at Hollesley Bay open prison had increased 2.3% to £15,723. At neighbouring category C Warren Hill, the cost rose 5.9% to £32,635, while costs went up 5.7% at Highpoint to £18,424.
Nationally, the average cost increased by £1,218 (5.3%).