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Christmas Behind Bars

News Release
For Immediate Release

18 December 2012

Christmas Behind Bars

Christmas will be marked with festivities for many people but for New Zealand’s 8,500 prisoners it will resemble a day much like any other.

“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” says Corrections Services General Manager, Dr. Brendan Anstiss.

“The meal will be prepared as usual, overseen by Catering Instructors and cooked by prisoners working in the facilities kitchens. This way prisoners can actively participate in the day and learn skills to help them with their rehabilitation.”

Depending on their security classifications and behaviour some may have the opportunity to engage in recreational activities such as sport and music.

“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” says Dr. Anstiss.

Visits will not be taking place on the statutory holidays however will still be running as usual over the rest of the holiday period.

Pillars, a charity for children of prisoners, will be running their activity centre in the visiting facilities during this time complete with Santa and presents so that the children of prisoners can experience some form of Christmas with their parents. Pillars has also arranged for their clients to receive hampers and gifts over the holiday period.

The main meal of the day, usually served for dinner will be served at Christmas lunch while the dinner meal will consist of the sandwiches usually served at lunch. The Sunday meal will be replaced with food items normally offered on other days.

Prisoners are also able to purchase canteen items such as Roses chocolates, Christmas mince pies, a small fruit pudding and an iced 1kg Christmas cake through the prison canteen system.


The Christmas Day meal will be the same across all 18 Corrections-managed prisons, and will cost around $4.00 per prisoner.

Lunch is the main meal of the day and consists of a serving of roast chicken, roast potatoes, carrots and peas with apple pie and custard for dessert.

For dinner on Christmas Day prisoners will have the sandwiches they would normally have for lunch.

All incoming gifts will be subject to normal security processes to prevent contraband entering prisons.

prisoner Christmas lunch


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