Hello friend,

As a vegan, the prison has to supply soya milk and yeast extract. Most prisons supply more in their vegan pack. I did a FOI request last year and discovered a huge range of packs amongst the high security prisons. This ranged from the minimum amount to the NOMS recommended vegan packs:

3 ½ litres fortified soya milk
200g mixed fruit and seeds
250g mixed dry fruit
250g oats
14-21 pieces of fruit

NOMS specify the various nuts, seeds and fruit which should be included. This prison’s pack deviates considerably from the NOMS recommendation. They supply dried beans and pulses. Half of the vegans give or throw away these items for various reasons, not least that they are not immediate food items.

Due to me being on a medical low fat diet, the peanut butter, nuts and seeds have been removed from my vegan pack, but not replaced. So, for the past 10 months I’ve been getting less food than every other vegan in this prison.

I’ve just had the record of investigation from the PPO. The investigator took it upon herself to investigate complaints I had not submitted for investigation and misunderstood the complaint I had submitted. This took 6 months for them to not uphold my complaint. They are actually condoning a prisoner being fed less than other prisoners of the same type.

I’ve requested a review of the case and pointed out that if a prisoner had been getting paid less than other prisoners for the past 10 months they would undoubtedly uphold the complaint and recommend that the prisoner be paid their 10 months back pay. A situation little different to mine.

Whilst I do not want to speculate as to the reasons why the kitchen is refusing to replace high fat items, this all came about after a long battle I had with them to provide me with the diet they had been instructed to provide by healthcare. Could it be that someone’s in a huff with me? A member of staff, surely not? That would be a bit childish.

Be happy, be safe (eat well and live long…and prosper).

Graham Coutts, 21st May 2017

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