25 Dec 2015

Inmates prepare 9000 Christmas dinners

7:15 am on 25 December 2015

Inmates throughout the country's prisons will prepare about 9000 Christmas dinners today.

The Corrections Department has a budget of $5.30 per meal.

Mt Eden prison

Christmas Day for inmates is one of reflection, says Deputy National Commissioner Rachel Leota. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

There are no family visits to prisoners on Christmas Day, but inmates will enjoy a meal of roast chicken, gravy, roast potatoes, carrots, green peas, two slices of bread and an apple pie for desert.

About 1300 Department of Corrections staff will also be on duty,

Deputy National Commissioner Rachel Leota said it was a day of reflection for many inmates as they were away from their families.

"Prisoners are separated from their families and other loved ones so it's very difficult for them and people on the outside as well.

"So there'll be important events taking place such as church services and other recreational activities, " she said.

Ms Leota said vegetable and fruit produce grown at prisons had also been donated to foodbanks.