Prison chiefs are defying an official report and serving halal meat to an entire young offenders institute to avoid upsetting a handful of Muslim inmates. Managers at Polmont run the risk of being accused of pandering to political correctness.
It is thought they are buying in chicken from a halal supplier to avoid being accused of religious discrimination. But the chickens – which have their throats cut to satisfy Islamic law – are required by only seven young men.
Last year a report by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Prisons forced bosses to cut back on sourcing all of its meat from halal butchers due to the small numbers of Muslims. Inspectors found it too expensive to justify. But prison officials admit that they continued the policy to avoid “prejudicing the position” of the handful of religious inmates.
Mark Wallace, spokesman for the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “A lot of people will be concerned that money meant for the criminal justice system is instead being spent on food that is dubious in terms of animal welfare, as well as more expensive.”