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Christmas lunch for New Zealand's 8500 prisoners will cost about $4 per prisoner, and will be a serving of roast chicken, roast potatoes, carrots and peas, with apple pie and custard for dessert.
''The meal will meet basic nutritional requirements but will not be lavish and prisoners who wish to attend church services on the day will be able to attend multi-denominational church services inside the wire,'' Dr Anstiss said.
The meal will be the same at all 18 Corrections-managed prisons and cooked by prisoners at each facility. For dinner, prisoners will have the sandwiches they would normally have for lunch.
Dr Anstiss said, in addition, prisoners were able to buy canteen items such as Roses' chocolates, Christmas mince pies, a small fruit pudding and an iced 1kg Christmas cake through the prison canteen system.
Some prisoners - depending on their security classifications and behaviour - might have the opportunity to engage in recreational activities such as sport and music, he said.
''Corrections appreciates that Christmas can be a trying time for prisoners' families and friends and we are committed to ensuring the day will be marked in an appropriate way,'' Dr Anstiss said. Visits would not take place on statutory holidays, but would run as usual over the rest of the holiday period. Pillars, a charity for children of prisoners, will run its activity centre in the visiting facilities during this time complete with Santa and presents, so children of prisoners can experience some form of Christmas with their parents. The charity also arranges for its clients to receive hampers and gifts over the holiday period.
All incoming gifts to the country's prisons would be subject to normal security processes to prevent contraband.