Note: There is also a PDF format version of this page that is more suitable for printing.
Guide for Vegan Prisoners
The aim of this booklet is to provide vegan prisoners with practical information to help ensure that their vegan requirements are provided, e.g. food, toiletries, shoes etc.
In addition, to give guidance on how to gain access to vegan supplements or herbal remedies.
There are various systems in place to provide equal
opportunities to vegan prisoners, but these can sometimes be difficult
to navigate without the relevant
Definition of a Vegan
Veganism may be defined as a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.
In dietary terms it refers to the practice of dispensing with all animal produce - including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, animal milks, honey, and their derivatives. In terms of clothing, the wearing of such items as leather, suede, silk and wool, etc would not be acceptable to vegans.
Abhorrence of the cruel practices inherent in an agricultural system based on the abuse of animals is probably the single most common reason for the adoption of vegansim, but many people are also drawn to it for health, ecological, resource, spiritual and other reasons.
The above information was provided by the Vegan Society which was formed in 1944.
The Vegan Society
Donald Watson House,
21 Hylton Street,
Tel: 0121 523 1730
NOMS Guidelines on the care of Vegans
1.1 Veganism is not a religion but a philosophy whereby the use of an animal for food, clothing or any other purpose is regarded as wholly unacceptable.
1.2 The majority of Vegans reject entirely anything which has its origins in the exploitation, suffering or death of any creature. An individual may lead a Vegan lifestyle for one particular reason or for a combination of reasons, and this may result in some Vegans being stricter than others in what they deem as acceptable and unacceptable. Vegan beliefs are followed by individuals within various faiths, to varying degrees, and by individuals of no faith.
1.3 Most Vegans will not involve themselves directly, or indirectly, in anything whereby their lifestyle and beliefs are compromised or violated, either for themselves or for others. Throughout their lives, Vegans will seek to sever all links with, and dependencies upon, the use or abuse of animals.
2.1 A Vegan diet is based on fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, pulses and cereals. The diet omits all animal products including meat, poultry, fish, sea creatures, invertebrates, eggs, animal milks, honey and royal jelly. Vegans should not be required to handle such foodstuffs. Food/drink containing or made with any of the above or their derivatives should not be served. The Vegan Society can provide helpful information on a range of issues including how nutrients are obtained from a Vegan diet.
2.2 Human nutrient requirements, with the exception of B12 can be met by a diet composed entirely of plant foods, but to do so it must be carefully planned using a wide selection of foods. Fortified Yeast extract is a good source of some of the B-vitamins, including vitamin B12 as is fortified Soya milk.
Purchase of Supplements and Herbal Remedies
3.1 Herbal remedies and dietary supplements of vegetable or synthetic origin such as Iodine (e.g. Kelp tablets) may be requested through the prison shop or via mail order.
4.1 Clothing and footwear must be from non-animal (e.g. plant or synthetic) sources. The wearing of all animal fibres, skins and materials including wool, silk, leather and suede will not be accepted by Vegan prisoners.
5.1 Toiletries containing any animal derived ingredients and where either the product or its ingredients have been tested on animals are totally unacceptable and are not permitted. Therefore, whenever toiletries suitable for Vegans are required, establishments should make arrangements for such items to be stocked in the prison retail, or ordered in as necessary.
5.2 Vegans should not be expected to use inappropriate toiletries.
5.3 Vegans should not be asked to handle or use substances that have involved animal testing on the product or its ingredients.
6.1 Most Vegan prisoners will not wish to be involved in any way in the care of animals on prison farms. Vegans usually choose not to engage in any sport, hobby, or trade that directly or indirectly, causes stress, distress, suffering, or death to any creature.
6.2 Vegans should not be expected to work in butchery or handle anything of animal origin or content.
Recommended Practices in Catering
All work surfaces and chopping boards, utensils and all other
kitchen equipment and facilities should be either kept separate from
those used for non-vegan
food preparation, or cleaned thoroughly before vegan food preparation.
Storage and Meal Service
A vegan choice should be available at every meal and indicated
as such. Vegan products should be stored in separate containers where
facilities allow. If this is not possible, then products may be stored
within the same facility in an isolated designated area on a higher,
separated shelf clearly labelled for vegan products. Designated
containers should be used. It is good practice that products are issued
by persons who are not handling animal products. Separation of vegan
food during preparation and service is a key requirement, thereby
avoiding cross contamination with non-vegan products. Vegan products
should be clearly labelled to avoid error..
A vegan choice should be available at every meal and indicated as such. Vegan products should be stored in separate containers where facilities allow. If this is not possible, then products may be stored within the same facility in an isolated designated area on a higher, separated shelf clearly labelled for vegan products. Designated containers should be used. It is good practice that products are issued by persons who are not handling animal products. Separation of vegan food during preparation and service is a key requirement, thereby avoiding cross contamination with non-vegan products. Vegan products should be clearly.
Weekly Vegan Provisions (Vegan Pack)
It is recommended that the following are provided each week:
- 3½ litres fortified soya milk (in order to consume sufficient calcium and B12)
- 200g (7 oz) mixed nuts and seeds, consisting of 7 brazil nuts, plus walnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds (in order to provide selenium and omega-3)
- 250g (9 oz) mixed dried fruit (raisins, dates, prunes etc)
- 250g (9 oz) oats (for use as a muesli base)
- 14-21 pieces of fruit, including 3 bananas/week and at least one citrus fruit/day
BASIC GUIDELINES FOR A VEGAN DIET
Rainbow Fruit/ Vegetables
The 5-a-day should include plenty of strongly coloured fruit/vegetables such as green leafy vegetables, red/green peppers, broccoli, beetroot, butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, oranges and kiwifruit.
It is important to include a brazil nut or 100g (3½ oz) sunflower seeds a day to ensure a good selenium intake.
Essential Fatty Acids
It is essential to include a good source ofomega-3 (e.g. 6 walnut halves daily).
Magnesium and Calcium
Good sources of magnesium are bananas, prunes, almonds and cashew nuts. Good sources of calcium are fortified soya milk, spring greens, kale, broccoli, almonds, sesame seeds and tahini. Consuming 2x250ml of fortified soya milk daily should help towards the daily calcium requirements of 700mg/day.
Whole Grain vs Refined
Limit the use of refined grains. Over processed food should be used sparingly, as it will have lost much of its nutritional content.
It is recommended that products stating ‘no hydrogenated fat’ should be eaten where possible.
Seeds are a concentrated source of nutrients including calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin E, copper, phosphorus and magnesium. It is recommended that seeds, such as sunflower, sesame or pumpkin, are included in the diet on a regular basis.
Consuming the recommended amounts of fortified soya milk will contribute towards vitamin B12 intake. Iodine is required for proper functioning of the thyroid gland. As it is impracticable for this to be provided in the prison diet, an iodine supplement is recommended. (See details on page 9).
If sun exposure is limited, a supplement of Vitamin D2 should be considered (see page 9). Some of the daily requirements may be obtained from fortified soya milk and fortified margarines (unhydrogenated if possible). Note: D3 is not vegan.1
Textured Vegetable Protein
It is important to limit the use of TVP (soya mince) to two or three times per week. Other sources of protein are nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, tofu and peanuts.
Limit the use of salt or use a low sodium alternative. To counterbalance the high salt content of processed foods endeavour to eat foods containing potassium such as green leafy and root vegetables, fresh fruit, cereals and nuts.
To maintain a healthy vegan diet at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables are required each day. Potatoes are a starchy food and so do not count. Fruit and vegetables provide some of the vitamins and minerals needed for good health and they are also high fibre foods. To ensure maximum absorption of vitamins, we recommend that some vegetables are eaten raw, as heating destroys some vitamins.
Fresh fruit, dried fruit and fruit tinned in natural juices all contribute to the 5 a day total. A portion of fresh or tinned fruit would be 80g (3 oz). As dried fruit provides a more concentrated source of nutrients, 30g (1 oz) is sufficient for a portion.
Eating a wide variety of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables will ensure excellent sources of folate, vitamin C, carotenoids, and many other protective substances that contribute to good health.
While the less colourful fruits and vegetables, such as bananas and potatoes do not have the same benefits, they are still useful sources of potassium and other nutrients. However they are no substitute for brightly coloured fruits and vegetables such as oranges or spring greens.
It is important that brightly coloured fruits and vegetables be a major part of the diet. Eating several different colours maximises health benefits. More information below:
Green leafy vegetables and broccoli have special characteristics, in particular high levels of vitamin K which may improve bone health. Other green vegetables include brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale.
Carrots are an excellent source of betacarotene. This is better absorbed if the carrots are cooked or juiced with a little oil. Other orange fruits and vegetables include butternut squash, sweet potatoes, apricots and mangos.
These cousins to the orange family are rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, an antioxidant understood to protect cells from damage. Good sources include: carrots, mangos, oranges, peaches and tangerines.
Tomatoes are a good source of lycopene. This antioxidant is better absorbed from processed tomato products and cooked rather than raw tomatoes.
Foods include: aubergine, blackberries, blueberries, deep purple grapes, purple plums, red apples, red cabbage, red onions and strawberries.
Foods include: celery, courgettes, green beans, green and yellow peppers, kale, kiwifruit, leeks, oranges, peas, romaine lettuce, spinach, spring greens and sweet corn.
Foods include: garlic, onions, celery, leeks and mushrooms
PROTEIN MAINSTAYS IN THE VEGAN DIET
All varieties of beans and lentils are rich sources of protein, fibre, carbohydrates and the essential amino acid lysine. Most grains are deficient in lysine, which is why the combination ‘rice and beans’ makes a complete protein. Many beans also contain folic acid. Grains provide important sources of dietary fibre, plant protein and phytochemicals. They also fortify the vegan diet with important vitamins and minerals. Whole Grain vs Refined: A good number of nutrients and much of the fibre is lost from grains when they are refined. Therefore we recommend that a percentage of grains are eaten unrefined.
Note: 3 heaped tablespoons are a rough guide to a portion of beans or lentils/daily.
For more information on vitamins/minerals contained in Beans, Lentils and Grains see pages 6/7 in The Catering Information Guide.
THE IMPORTANCE OF NUTS AND SEEDS
Nuts and seeds offer an abundance of nutritional benefits and are an important part of a healthy vegan diet as they are a good source of vitamins, minerals, protein, essential fatty acids and fibre. The daily requirement is one to two servings. A recommended serving would be 30g (1oz).
For more information on vitamins/minerals contained in Nuts and Seeds see page 7 in The Catering Information Guide.
Nutritional Requirements for a Vegan Diet
|Food Group||Daily Amount||What It Provides||Suggestions|
|Vegetables||2+, 100g [4oz]||vitamins, minerals, protein, fibre, antioxidants||broccoli, kale, spring greens, cabbage, spinach, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, pumpkin|
|Fruit||3+, large pieces||vitamins, minerals, fibre, vitamin C to help absorb iron||include some citrus fruit|
|Nuts||1-2, 25g [1oz]||protein, oils, minerals, fibre||almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazlenuts, peanuts, nut butters|
|Oils||as required for cooking||energy, oils||unhydrogenated rapeseed oil|
|Wholegrains and root vegetables||2+, 100g [4oz]||energy, protein, vitamins, fibre||pasta, oats, bread, rice, corn, millet, buckwheat, barley, bulgur wheat, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, parsnips|
|Pulses||1+, 100g [4oz]||energy, protein, minerals, fibre||peas, lentils, chickpeas, baked beans, kidney beans, soya products|
As a general guide food from the above groups should be eaten every day to provide a solid foundation for a vegan diet. Increased servings may be needed according to energy requirements. Any margarine used should be non-hydrogenated. Rapeseed oil is preferred to sunflower, safflower, soy or sesame oil as it provides a better balance of types of fat, including omega-3 fats.
|Key Nutrient||Daily Amount||Suggestions|
|Calcium||700 to 1200mg||An adequate intake of calcium can be assured by 3½ litres per week of fortified soya milk [containing at least 120mg/ 100ml] or an equivalent amount of other calcium rich foods: tofu prepared with calcium sulphate (see labels for calcium content); green leafy vegetables, such as kale or spring greens (about 150 mg per 100g), or a vegan calcium supplement. Note that calcium from spinach is poorly absorbed.|
|Vitamin B12||3 micrograms+||Fortified foods or supplements. e.g. 25g per week of a yeast extract fortified with 50 micrograms of B12 per 100g OR 600 ml per day of soya milk fortified with 0.5 micrograms B12 per 100 ml OR a daily B12 tablet containing at least 3 micrograms B12.|
|Iodine||150 to 500 micrograms||Iodine is important for good metabolism and thyroid function. Ideal intakes for adults lie between 150 and 500 micrograms a day. While this can be achieved by careful use of seaweed it may be more convenient and reliable to use a supplement.|
Stephen Walsh PhD., Vegan Society Spokesperson on Diet and Health. Updated March 2006
- Daily amounts are given as number of servings followed by serving size, for cooked foods serving sizes are given as cooked weights.
- Each piece of fruit should be around 100g, e.g. one orange, banana or apple. For smaller fruits a serving should be sufficient pieces to make up 100g, e.g. 2 nectarine oranges or about thirty grapes.
On average a male adult requires 55g protein per day and a female adult requires 45g. Protein is not usually a cause for concern, but is worth flagging up, as many people enquire about it.
A diet high in oil, sugar or fruit can easily have too little protein. If no oils or sugars are eaten then many plant foods, including potatoes and oats, provide sufficient protein per calorie by themselves. If a large part of the diet is low protein foods then including beans, peas or lentils is necessary to meet protein needs.
A varied diet based on other plant foods including some peas, beans or lentils will meet protein needs without any special attention.
Combining grains with beans in individual meals is not necessary, but including some peas, beans or lentils most days is a good idea as they are both rich in protein and high in the amino acid lysine which is low in many grains, nuts and seeds.
The recommended daily amount is provided by the soya milk mentioned earlier. Calcium is also found in spring greens, cabbage, broccoli, white flour (as calcium is added by law) and white flour products, bread, oranges and chickpeas.
The average adult requires 5mcg/daily, some of which is provided by the fortified soya milk mentioned on the previous page. Vitamin D also comes from sun exposure. Expose your face and arms to the sun for approximately 15 minutes per day.If your sun exposure is limited (for example in a British winter) or if you are dark-skinned make sure that you consume 10 to 20 micrograms of vitamin D2 each day from fortified food (soya milk or vegan margarine) or a supplement.
The recommended daily amount is provided by the soya milk. It is also provided by fortified yeast extract, fortified margarine and fortified cereals.
The average adult requires 150-300mg/daily. While ideal intakes of iodine can be achieved by careful use of seaweed. However, our research shows that it is impracticable in the prison kitchen and unpalatable to most. Thus it may be more convenient and reliable to purchase a kelp supplement through the prison shop.
Regarding iodine, the prison guidelines state:
3.1 Herbal remedies, dietary, or food supplements of a vegetable or synthetic origin such as Iodine (Kelp tablets) may be requested through the prison shop.
Prison shops currently list a suitable vegan supplement in the form of iodine tablets by Allsports on their main listing. If this is not on the local listing, you can request that it is added. Failing that The Vegan Society produce a multi-vitamin (VEG1) which contains iodine. This is usually arranged through prisoners' monies via a cash disbursement.
Keeping a record of your diet
It is advisable that you keep a record of your diet for the
weeks following your arrival at any prison, or at anytime that you feel
your diet is not nutritionally sound (Diet Record Sheet are available
from the Vegan Society).
Alternatively you could make your own Diet Sheet Record by ruling up a blank sheet of paper with a row for each day and additional columns for breakfast/ lunch / dinner and additions and comments / suggestions.
Keeping a Diet Record Sheet would enable you to keep an accurate record of your meals and which additional Vegan provisions you are issued with (See Page 3). It would also record if you are being provided with:
- 5 portions / daily of fruit and vegetables
- 1 portion / daily of beans or lentils
An accurate record means you have the information to hand if
to have a meeting with the catering manager to discuss your diet, or
alternatively if you need the help of the Vegan Society to try to
improve your diet.
If at any time you feel unwell and believe you require additional vitamins, these should be requested through your health care department or, alternitively, you could request access to supplements via mail order from Holland Barrett.
As it is important to consume an iodine supplement for the
proper functioning of the thyroid gland, the following vegan supplement
can be requested through the prison canteen: Allsports
Tabs with Iodine (Code M108915). If this is not available through your
prison canteen, the Vegan Society produce VEG1, which contains iodine,
vitamin B12 and selenium. However, bear in mind that you would need to
obtain permission from the prison before you can order this supplement.
Other vegan supplements: If you are concerned about your vitamin C intake, the supplement C150 Vitamin Tabs 60’s (Code M099896) can be requested through the prison canteen. You can also request access to vegan supplements via mail order from Holland &Barrett (see page 11).
White part of the egg. It’s a thickening agent that gives cosmetics the consistency for being applied to the skin or hair.
Obtained from the honeycomb of bees. In lipsticks and many other cosmetics, especially face creams, lotions, mascaras, eye creams and shadows, makeup bases, nail whiteners, etc. Also in making candles, crayons and polishes.
Carmine or Cochineal (E120)
Red pigment from the crushed female cochineal insect. In cosmetics, shampoos, red apple sauce and other foods.
Found in milk and all products associated with milk, such as ice cream, yogurt, butter and cheese.
It’s a group of naturally occurring proteins found in animals, especially in the fesh and connective tissues of mammals.
Comes from boiling animal skin and bone. Used as an Emulsifer
/ Gelling Agent.
Crystalline material obtained from fsh scales. In cosmetics and personal care products: bath products, cleansing products, fragrances, hair conditioners, lipsticks, nail products, shampoos.
Bees are farmed and manipulated, and the honey they produce for themselves is taken from them. The queen bee is usually killed every year and a new queen introduced to the colony. The queen may have her wings clipped to prevent her from fying; this is to stop the bees carrying out their natural instinct to swarm.
From the ground-up horns, hoofs, feathers, quills and hair of various creatures. In hair rinses, shampoos and permanent wave solutions.
Milk Sugar. Milk of mammals. In foods, tablets, cosmetics, baked goods and shampoos.
It’s derived from sheep wool, a natural fatty wax that the
sheep produces to waterproof its wool coat. Used in cosmetics.
It’s a resinous substance collected from various plants by bees and used in the construction of their hives. In toothpastes, shampoos, deodorants, supplements.
Secretion of the throat glands of the honeybee workers that is fed to the larvae in a colony and to all queens’ larvae.
Obtained from the bodies of the female scale insect Tachardia lacca. Used as varnish, as a coating on wood and plaster, in electrical insulation, in sealing wax.
Rendered beef or sheep fat. In wax paper, crayons, margarines, paints, rubber, lubricants, candles, soaps, shampoos, lipsticks, shaving creams.
Vitamin A (Retinol)
Derived from fsh-liver oil or egg yolk. In shampoos, shaving soaps, creams, food supplement.
It is derived from lanolin (from sheep) or fsh. Used to fortify milk, dairy products and breakfast cereals.
From milk. In cakes, cookies, candies, cheese.
Animal and Vegan Ingredients
It can be animal, vegetable or synthetic. It is commonly animal based, or a blend of animal and vegetable oils.
Obtained from eggs, nerve tissue, blood, milk and soybeans (when stated soy lecithin). In eye creams, lipsticks, hand creams, soaps, shampoos, other cosmetics, candies, other foods and medicines.
Mono- and diglycerides (E471):
It can be from animal fat or plant origin. In margarines, cake mixes, confectionaries, foods, peanut butter, non-dairy coffee creamer, cosmetics, etc.
Oleyl alcohol or Oleic Acid:
Obtained from various animal and vegetable fats and oils, is usually obtained commercially from inedible tallow, and sometimes synthesized from petroleum. In foods, soft soaps, bar soaps, permanent wave solutions, shampoos, creams, nail polish, lipsticks, liquid makeup, many other skin preparations.
In 2004 our recommendation for the basic prison issue
toiletries to be suitable for all now means that (except for the bar
soap) the toothpaste, shower gel, deodorant, shave creme, hair and body
wash and shampoo are now suitable for vegans. If in doubt an up-dated
list can be obtained from either the Vegan Society or the VPSG.
If however, you arrive at a prison that does not provide vegan toiletries as the prison issue, we recommend that you make an application to your Diversity Manager or Residential Governor to request access to a mail order from Honesty Cosmetics, Lumford Mill, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1GS Tel: 01629 814888 www.honestycosmetics.co.uk
Prison Retail (Canteen)
Canteen sheets are usually issued on a weekly basis in order for prisoners to order food/toiletries and other requirements. The amount you are permitted to spend will vary from prison to prison. Prison Retail should make every effort to stock food, toiletries and other items for which there is a demand. To ensure equal opportunities, they also need to cater for their vegan population even if they are in the minority. Therefore, when you request items which are not available on your local canteen sheets, but are on the full National Product List*, NOMS should make every effort to meet your needs where possible.
However, some prisons might prefer to add Honesty Cosmetics and Holland & Barrett to their Facilities List. This needs to be arranged through the prison’s Finance Department. The help of either your Diversity Manager or Residential Governor will be required. Once this has been arranged you can then purchase your requirements via a cash disbursement from prisoners’ monies.
Note: Most prisons have a team of prisoners who decide what is stocked on the local canteen sheets, so your first port of call might be to find out who they are and ask to see the full canteen listing in order to discuss your requirements being added.
For more info on the NPL see FAQ page 14 in the PDG at the header of this page.
Holland & Barrett (Mail Order)
If a decision is made at your prison not to add sufficient vegan items from the National Product List (NPL) to the local canteen sheet, in order to ensure equal opportunities we recommend you make a request to be able to order from Holland & Barrett (H&B) by mail order. H&B have a good selection of nuts, seeds, flapjacks, tea bags and supplements. Discuss this with your Diversity Manager or Residential Governor, who should be able to arrange to have H&B added to the Facilities list.
Notes: Our research shows that due to the ordering procedure, it can take three months or more to have items added to local listings. Our research further shows that mail orders for either H&B or Honesty are usually permitted every three months.
Prisons should provide you with vegan footwear so we recommend you speak to your Diversity Manager or Residential Governor when footwear is required. Alternatively seek permission to be able to order vegan footwear by mail order from either.
You may also be able to order from the following companies: this is usually arranged through prisoner’s monies via a cash disbursement.
- Vegetarian Shoes, 12 Gardner Street, Brighton BN1 1UP, 01273 685685
- Alternative Stores, Hartley Court, Brunswick Industrial Estate, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE13 7BA, 0191 236 1043
If you have a grievance there are various ways of trying to resolve the issue, as outlined below.
Take Steps to Stop Grievances Occuring
It is recommended that you consider trying to build a working relationship with your Personal Officer, the S.O (Senior Officer), P.O (Principle Officer) and kitchen staff if possible. This can make it easier to address issues arising before they reach the stage where you need to put in a complaint.
Details of Grievances/ Complaint
Keep an accurate note of any applications, discussions and commitments in a diary. Keeping accurate information will help if you decide to put in a complaint and/or seek the help of outside organisations.
First try and resolve the problem by speaking to a relevant member of staff, e.g. Wing Officer or Catering Manager. If you are speaking to an officer who is not usually on the wing you may wish to request a meeting.
If this is not successful approach your Personal Officer or Residential Governor. They are in effect the first step in any process of complaint or request you may wish to make. Your Personal Officer will also be the one to monitor your progress through your sentence and complete paperwork concerning such things as Home Detention Curfew (HDC).
Request/ Complaints Form
These forms are to be completed when other channels of complaint have failed. These (if not readily available) should be issued to you within 7 days of applying and a reply should be received within 3 days of completion.
Once your reply is received if you are not happy with the
response the next
step is to fill in an appeal to your complaint, and then appeal to the
Governor. Using form COMP1A, this must be made within a week of
receiving the first response. You should receive a response within 7
If you try to resolve the problem internally first with a written complaint, you are more likely to be eligible for legal aid in the event that you need to take the complaint further. Normally at this stage, however, it will be settled amicably.
If you are still not happy with the response, or the Prison
Service does not reply to you within 6 weeks, the next step is to
contact the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman within one month
of receiving your final response.
The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman
2 Monck Street
London SW1P 2BQ
Tel: 020 7035 2876
The problem should be put in writing. If you require assistance, you can speak in confidence to the Independent Monitoring Board. The Independent Monitoring Board are entirely independent of the prison establishment and have a wealth of experience on prison and prisoner issues.
The following group also gives advice:
The Prisoners’ Advice Service (PAS) provide legal advice and information to prisoners in England and Wales regarding their rights, the application of the Prison Rules and conditions of imprisonment. PAS take up prisoners’ complaints about their treatment inside prison by providing free advice and assistance on an individual and confidential basis. They take legal action where appropriate and have solicitors on-hand to advise.
Prisoners' Advice Service,
PO Box 46199,
Tel 020 7253 3323 / 0845 430 8923
Using the VPSG/ Vegan Society Guidelines
Although vegan prisoners are free to contact the VPSG or Vegan Society for help and advice, prisoners should be aware that time taken up with individual matters means that these organisations run less efficiently in their efforts to forward the overall care of vegans detained in prison. It is suggested that each prisoner should use the establishment's channels of complaint before calling on outside help.
If you have a genuine problem you are unable to sort out through the normal channels within prison then contact: Vegan Prisoners Support Group or The Vegan Society. These organisations work closely together on the care of vegans in prison.
The Vegan Society:
Donald Watson House,
21 Hylton Street,
tel 0121 523 1730.
Note: Membership of the abovementioned society is no longer necessary in order to obtain a vegan diet in prison so membership is optional.
Always remember that we are unable to make representations on the following because they are not strictly a vegan issue:
- Taste of food or personal food preferences.
- Food provided which you are allergic or intolerant to such as spice, onions, tomatoes etc. In such cases we would recommend that you consider making an application to discuss this with your Catering Manager who may be able to assist by providing a written declaration confirming you are unable to tolerate the food in question.
- Substitution of one meal for another with an acceptable alternative
- Timing of the issue of supplements and vegan extras
Frequently Asked Questions
For more information on Frequently Asked Questions see pages 14/ 16 in The Catering Information Guide.