Our prison system is in crisis. Cuts made to prison funding post-recession have meant that Britain’s prisons are understaffed and overcrowded, with prison deaths and suicides at a ten year high. Prisoner welfare is increasingly at risk and it is clear drastic change is needed.
But when was the last time you heard about what prisoners eat behind bars? A recent report by The HM Inspectorate of Prisons has revealed significant failings across the country in providing our prisoners with the kind of nutrition they need. This is impacting the inmate’s physical and mental well-being, in turn leading to violence, frustration, drastic weight gain and poor health.
Prisoners are among some of the most vulnerable individuals in the country. Up to 90% of prisoners have a diagnosable mental illness, substance abuse problem, or both.
Decent nutrition has the power to help change people’s lives for the better. With chaos and violence drastically increasing inside, we can’t ignore our prisoner’s diets as a contributing factor to the current state of disorder.
The UK’s prisons are in desperate need of reform. It’s time we looked to their kitchens for help with finding part of the solution.