Christmas behind the wire: what is the menu for inmates on Christmas Day?

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“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.

For all vegetarian prisoners, they will be offered breaded spinach and pumpkin patties for Christmas lunch, while falafels, rice and salad are on the menu for dinner.

The Department of Corrections hopes the Christmas season can be special for all of their prisoners with activities on offer and a chance for families to reconnect. But COVID-19 restrictions have limited in-person gatherings.

“We know Christmas can be a very difficult time, especially for the families of the men and women in prison,” Beales said. “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.

“Christmas Day is pretty much the same as any other day in prison, but where possible, we provide extra sports and other activities.

“COVID-19 restrictions have meant that Auckland prisons have not been able to organize face-to-face visits, but we have provided inmates with additional phone cards to ensure contact with their friends and whānau keep on going.”


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