Being locked up over Christmas is probably about as depressing as it gets.

Most prisoners deserve to be inside for the crimes they've committed but even the tough Prison Service has some sympathy for its 'customers' during what must be a difficult time - even for seasoned jailbirds.

The Ministry of Justice, which governs HM Prison Service, has released a document detailing the Christmas Day lunch menus at each of its prisons in England and Wales.

And some look considerably better than others. Some appear to be getting the full works - whether it's fresh or shipped in and reheated in a microwave we don't know - while others won't be getting much in the way of a festive munch.

And it doesn't look like the lunch fits the crime either; some of the menus at Britain's highest security prisons look reasonable.

What's for Christmas dinner at HMP New Hall?

New Hall prison, Flockton

The women's prison near Flockton holds everyone from repeat minor offenders and remand prisoners to murderers.

But regardless of what they've done - or been accused of - it looks like they're getting a proper Christmas lunch.

Roast Turkey with Bacon and Sausage, Sage and Onion Stuffing,

Mushroom Stroganoff

Roast and Mashed Potatoes

Brussel Sprouts and Carrots

Christmas Pudding and Flavoured Sauce

What are they having at Monster Mansion?

Charles Bronson

HMP Wakefield houses some of the most notorious prisoners in Britain, including 'Britain's most dangerous prisoner' Charles Bronson .

He and the murderers, rapists and other category A offenders will be having a proper Christmas dinner should they want it.

Sliced Turkey

Half Roast Chicken

Halal Half Roast Chicken

Roast/New Potatoes

Carrots & Sprouts

Pigs in Blankets

Christmas Pudding & White Sauce

Vegan Christmas Pudding & White Sauce


There are vegan schnitzels and a vegetarian pie for non-meat eaters.

Some prisons don't seem to be getting festive, however...

"What's for Christmas dinner, sir?" "Crisps." "Oh."

HMP Belmarsh, South London, holds some of Britain's most dangerous inmates included those convicted of terrorism offence and war crimes.

They won't be shown much Christmas spirit as the best the prison can serve up is leek soup and a baguette without turkey or any of the trimming. They will be getting a mince pie and a slice of Christmas cake though.

Inmates at lower security Buckley Hall, near Rochdale, Lancashire, won't be getting much to celebrate either. The best they'll be getting is a pork and stuffing sandwich with crisps.