Prisoners are becoming aggressive and fighting each other because the food they get behind bars is so bad, the prisons inspector has warned.
Low quality food and small portions lead to fights, which are difficult to manage because of staff shortages, the report found.
As a result many prisoners are made to eat in their cells, resulting in complaints that inmates were forced to sit on their toilet while having their meal. One prisoner deemed the practice “degrading”.
The report, from HM Inspectorate of Prisons, also found that some prisoners are left without hot food for up to 20 hours on weekends because they are served sandwiches as an evening meal.
Many complained about small portions and poor quality food because there are no nutritional standards for meals in prisons and small budgets make it difficult to provide fresh food.
The report warned: “Food can also affect security resourcing and safety in prison, as frustration over food can serve as a catalyst for aggression and dissent.
“Studies have also found that nutritional supplements reduce disciplinary incidents, aggression and violent behaviour, pointing to the importance of nutrition to safety in prisons.
“In other words, prisoners eating well is not just a matter of prisoner wellbeing but is also of practical and financial concern to the prison service.”
Much of the food served to prisoners was deemed to be “insufficient” and the report called for major changes to the nutritional balance of food served, as well as how and where inmates are allowed to eat.
Inspectors found that most prisoners were served food on a budget of around £2 per day, compared to around £10 per day for those in hospital.
News Source TelegraphNews