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This is what prisoners in Wales will be eating on Christmas Day; From turkey and pigs in blankets to fry-ups, goodie bags, and Christmas pudding, we've got the full menus inmates will be tucking into. Caitlin O'Sullivan reports.

Byline: Caitlin O'Sullivan

THE traditional Christmas turkey is a staple of the December 25 celebrations - including for those spending the festive season behind bars.

The menus prisoners will be tucking into on Christmas Day have been revealed, and they include everything from a morning fry-up to a selection of meats accompanied by roasties, sprouts and pigs in blankets.

The festive menus each prison will be serving up to inmates were provided by the Ministry of Justice following a Freedom of Information request.

Meals in prisons over Christmas and New Year are paid for from within the existing budget and at no extra cost to the taxpayer. The daily allowance for a prisoner's food is PS2.02, though what is actually spent on food for prisoners per day, including meals for religious occasions, is a decision made locally.

All meals are cooked in the prison kitchens by inmates overseen by catering staff.

Staff are not provided with Christmas dinner at any Welsh jails, though during December staff at HMP Berwyn have had the opportunity to buy festive-style meals from the cafe.

This is exactly what's on offer for the hundreds of people spending Christmas locked up.

| HMP Berwyn The so-called "super-prison", which opened in Wrexham in February 2017, is the largest prison in England and Wales and the second largest in Europe.

It can hold a maximum of 2,106 category C male prisoners.

Category C inmates are defined as those who cannot be trusted in open conditions but who are unlikely to try to escape. It is typically for those convicted of minor offences and who are serving shorter sentences no more than a few years in length.

Tomorrow prisoners will be able to attend a Christmas Day service in the morning, as well as activities, including gym time.

Food-wise the day will start with a cooked breakfast - consisting of bacon and sausage, or vegetarian equivalents, with a boiled egg, baked beans, hash brown, and a bread roll with margarine - at 8.30am.

Lunch will be served at 12.30pm and has plenty of options. Inmates will be given a choice of: roast turkey served with a chipolata roll plus sage and onion stuffing and gravy; a halal chicken portion with the same sides; roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and gravy; grilled white fish with cheese and tomato; or mushroom and spinach Wellington and gravy.

They'll be accompanied by roast potatoes, carrots, and Brussels sprouts and followed up by a Christmas pudding with brandy-flavoured sauce for dessert.

At 4.30pm, diners will get their choice of either a slice of corned beef with a pork pie and chicken pasta salad; tuna mayonnaise, cheese portion and vegetable quiche; a nut roast, vegan cheese portion and couscous/bean salad; or a barmcake and margarine with salad garnish and rice salad as a vegan equivalent to potato salad.

Inmates are also given a Christmas cake, satsuma, and packet of crisps and mince pie. The response also adds: "On Christmas Day the evening meal will be a buffet-style meal with cold cuts of meat, sausage rolls, pork pie and vegetarian, vegan, or halal alternatives."

| HMP Cardiff is a category B prison with a "certified normal accommodation" (CNA) level of 532 men and an operational capacity of 820. Some inmates are serving life sentences.

On Christmas Day the jail will have a bank holiday regime with gym sessions and a church service.

Prisoners will start the day with a "breakfast pack" before a choice of three dishes for lunch.

They'll have a choice of: roast sliced turkey, beef and gammon; halal turkey cordon bleu; or vegan schnitzels in mushroom sauce. They'll all be accompanied by roast potatoes, roast parsnips, diced swede and carrot, Brussels sprouts, Yorkshire pudding, a mini sausage, and gravy.

Dessert will be either Christmas pudding with custard sauce or fresh fruit.

Dinner will be a choice of: BBQ mayo chicken mayonnaise with slaw in a baguette; steak slice; peanut butter and banana wrap vegan pie; an egg mayonnaise baguette; or a chicken and mushroom slice for those who'd prefer halal. The men will also have Christmas cake, crisps, and fruit.

| HMP Swansea Earlier this year the UK's chief prison inspector described Swansea jail as "probably the worst I've seen anywhere".

The Oystermouth Road facility, which has a CNA level of 268 and an operational capacity of 500, holds category B prisoners and young adults.

The jail will have the equivalent of a normal weekend regime with a church service on December 25.

Breakfast will consist of sausage or vegetable sausage, baked beans, bread and butter.

There's no turkey on the menu at lunchtime, though. Instead prisoners will either have a roast halfchicken and stuffing balls, halal chicken, or a vegetarian slice.

They will all be served with roast potatoes, new potatoes, garden peas, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and gravy.

Christmas pudding and sauce will follow.

The men also get a tea hamper pack - described as a "goodie bag" - which contains noodles, a sausage and bean slice (or vegetable pasty or halal equivalent) along with packet soup, a hot chocolate sachet, cream crackers, two servings of margarine, two cheese portions, a piece of fresh fruit, a packet of biscuits, crisps, a Christmas cake slice, and orange juice.

All items are said to be "subject to change at short notice".

| HMP Usk and Prescoed The two prisons operate in different locations but under the same management team.

Usk is a small category C training prison built in the 19th century that for many years has specialised in delivering sex offender treatment programmes and has a capacity of 273.

Prescoed, three and a half miles away, is a category D open prison holding 230 men across 11 "modern, purpose-built, detached accommodation blocks" housing about 20 people each.

The prisons will have the equivalent of a normal weekend regime with a church service tomorrow.

The men will receive a breakfast pack to start the day off and for lunch they have several options.

They can choose one of either: roast turkey with stuffing balls, a Yorkshire pudding, and pigs in blankets; quinoa, walnut and parsnip loaf for the vegan and vegetarian inmates; or chicken breast in a cranberry gravy with stuffing balls and Yorkshire pudding, which is halal. All are served with Brussels sprouts, baby carrots, new potatoes, roast potatoes, and gravy.

Christmas pudding and vanilla sauce follow for dessert.

Dinner in the evening will consist of gammon ham with spiced fruit chutney sandwich, or a Chinesestyle vegan and vegetarian tofu wrap, or a cheese and tomato sandwich as a halal and vegetarian option.

They will also get crisps, a chocolate bar, fruit, and Christmas cake.

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 24, 2018
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