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‘A Marmite baguette, vegan cheese and a choc ice’ - what do prisoners eat at Hollesley Bay?

PUBLISHED: 11:31 09 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:43 09 October 2018

Prisoners have a meal allowance of just over £2 per day (stock image) Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

Prisoners have a meal allowance of just over £2 per day (stock image) Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

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Ever wondered what it would be like to dine behind bars? Now’s your chance to find out, as we take a look behind the scenes at a Suffolk prison.

Stews and casseroles feature regularly on the dinner menu (stock image) Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTOStews and casseroles feature regularly on the dinner menu (stock image) Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

Hollesley Bay prison, located around eight miles from Woodbridge, is a Category D men’s prison and Young Offender institution that regularly hits the headlines in Suffolk.

To get a better idea of what life is like for offenders behind bars, we sourced a sample menu from the Ministry of Justice.

The options for each meal resemble school dinners, with a choice of baguettes, salads, pies and chilli con carne.

While many items are basic, the prison caters for all dietary requirements – featuring a range of Halal, vegan and lower fat choices.

With five main options for dinner each day, ranging from sweet and sour pork to Boston casserole, accompanied by a selection of potatoes, rice, vegetables and desserts, some might argue that prisoners are spoilt for choice.

However a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice confirmed the daily food allowance per offender is just £2.12, equating to £14.84 per week, or roughly £64.66 per month.

By comparison, the average household spends £58 on the weekly food shop, equivalent to roughly £252.71 per month, according to the most recent figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

As the ONS also found the average household size to be 2.4 people, the average weekly spend per person can be estimated as £24.17 per week, or roughly £105.30 per month.

Known colloquially as an ‘open prison’, Hollesley Bay houses offenders who may leave the grounds on a temporary basis to visit home or work in the community, subject to approval by prison chiefs.

While more than 100 prisoners go off-site to work on a daily basis without issue, some fail to return, prompting questions about how safe the prison really is – especially considering the fact that many offenders are serving life sentences for serious crimes.

Yesterday, Aaron Johnson, 34, was found by police after absconding from the prison in August. He was serving a nine year sentence for robbery, wounding and assault.

Note: All images used to illustrate this piece are stock pictures. The Ministry of Justice did not supply any images of the food at Hollesley Bay prison.

The Holleley Bay menu features a range of sandwiches, soups and snacks (stock image) Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe Holleley Bay menu features a range of sandwiches, soups and snacks (stock image) Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Hollesley Bay prison, situated eight miles from Woodbridge in Suffolk Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHollesley Bay prison, situated eight miles from Woodbridge in Suffolk Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The 

recreation area in the sleeping quarters at Hollesley Bay Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe recreation area in the sleeping quarters at Hollesley Bay Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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