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Poor nutrition in detainees

08 July 2021
Volume 30 · Issue 13

For all of us eating a balanced diet is important for maintaining good health and wellbeing; it is also one of the great social pleasures of life. However, far too many people in prisons and places of detention are consuming a poor diet. Poor nutrition has the potential to impact concentration and learning—it can also result in episodes of violent or aggressive behaviour. In prison, a deficient diet may contribute to increased rates of poor mental and physical health when compared with the general population.

Prisoners are provided with three meals a day, usually breakfast, lunch and dinner. They should have access to drinking water at all times as well as being provided with the facilities to prepare a minimum of four hot drinks a day (Prison Reform Trust, 2018). The Prison Rules 1999 governs how prisons are run. Prison Rule 24 decrees that the food (including drink) provided to prisoners should be wholesome, nutritious, well prepared and served, reasonably varied and sufficient in quantity, and food has to be inspected by a suitably competent person.

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