Prison Christmas to be 'without the trimmings'

A fruit mince pie, their main meal at lunchtime and some extra time for recreational activities are the only changes to prison routine for Christmas Day.

Otago Corrections Facility will mark the holiday but without the trimmings, manager Jack Harrison says.

"Many people seem to have the impression that it is an extravagant affair, but in reality it is Christmas, but without the trimmings."

Corrections inmate employment manager, internal services sector, Russell Baker said the Christmas Day menu was the same around the country - a serving of vegetables, chicken and a Christmas fruit mince pie, while dinner would be cold meat and salads.

About $4.50 a day was budgeted to feed a prisoner and the main difference on Christmas was that the main meal was served at lunch, he said.

Mr Harrison said working on the holiday would be business as usual for staff, but prisoners (depending on their security classifications) might spend some time involved in recreational activities such as touch rugby or basketball.

Prisoners could also attend multi-denominational church services held by the prison chaplain.

Some prisoners had put on a Christmas-themed concert to thank the volunteers who came into the prison and assisted with chapel services and literary support, Mr Harrison said.

"We have some prisoners who have made Christmas gifts to send home using skills gained from art programmes," he said.

Friends and family could send approved items as Christmas presents to prisoners, he said.

 

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