Scotland Prisons Trial New Nutrition Standards

EDINBURGH, Scotland — Scottish Prison Service officials introduced new nutrition guidelines as part of a pilot project to promote healthy eating and improve inmate health.

The new standards outline average daily nutrient and energy requirements and detailing fruit and vegetable portion sizes. Officials ruled out developing a standardized menu in favor of the broader and more flexible nutritional guidelines, because kitchen facilities differ throughout the system.

Developed in conjunction with the Food Standards Agency, the new guidelines increase the dietary budget from $22.96 per inmate per week to $26.79, officials say.

The healthy eating initiative is being trialed at three SPS pilot facilities — HMP Greenock, a minimum-security male prison near Glasgow; HMP Shotts, a maximum-security male prison in Lanarkshire; and HMP Cornton Vale, a female prison in Stirling.

In 2005, the annual report of SPS watchdog Andrew McLellan criticized the quality and nutritional content of the food provided to the approximately 7,000 inmates incarcerated in Scotland’s 16 detention facilities.

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