In prisons, food plays an important role in daily life. It breaks through boredom, brings structure and sometimes pleasure to the day of a prisoner.
But it also symbolizes the loss of freedom, especially during the holidays. When families gather around the Christmas table, prisoners celebrate these days in seclusion. Celebrating Christmas alone is not an obvious thing. Research has already shown that the number of suicides is higher during holidays.
To alleviate such periods, which are experienced as difficult, the prison system invests in festive meals. A tasty meal can soften this period a little. The prison system tries to do this with the resources they have: "To prepare a Christmas dinner, some prisons save on other weekly menus. This way, you can still provide a little extra”, An-Sofie Vanhouche explains.
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