Five-star food for youth in­mates

Sunday Herald Sun - - FRONT PAGE - MONIQUE HORE

YOUNG thugs will feast on first-class food in a menu shake-up at Vic­to­ria’s youth jus­tice cen­tres.

A gov­ern­ment con­tract has re­vealed the top-class tucker keep­ing the state’s worst teen of­fend­ers well fed.

Chicken schnitzels, finger food and fil­lets of fish are sug­gested din­ner de­lights for de­tainees at the Parkville and Malsm­bury prisons. And only pre­mium mince — bet­ter than some sold in su­per­mar­kets — can be served to keep the kid­die crim­i­nals happy and healthy.

A call-out for ca­ter­ing ser­vice has re­vealed the jus­tice cen­tre menus must con­sider “the food pref­er­ences” of the teens and in­clude va­ri­ety “to keep the meals in­ter­est­ing”.

Meat­ball Mon­days are out for the well-fed crims, with the cater­ers forced to pro­vide two meat and a veg­e­tar­ian op­tion each meal and banned from re­peat­ing weekly menus or the same meal on spe­cific days.

They will also be de­liv­ered their in­di­vid­ual “ready to eat” meals and most will have their dirty dishes washed for them.

“The menu must pro­vide for food choice var­ied in flavour, colour, tex­ture, shape and pre­sen­ta­tion,” ten­der doc­u­ments said.

Vic­tims of Crime Com­mis­sioner Greg Davies slammed the “soft” con­di­tions.

“There are vic­tims of these peo­ple who are do­ing it harder than they are in youth de­ten­tion cen­tres,” he said.

“It shouldn’t be a pleas­ant place and it shouldn’t be an easy place. Some of these young peo­ple aren’t all that up­set at the prospect of be­ing sent to one.”

Pow­dered potato, ar­ti­fi­cial flavours and man­u­fac­tured meats are out as au­thor­i­ties rule that fresh is best.

“All fruits and veg­eta­bles are to be of first qual­ity, and of max­i­mum fresh­ness... frozen pro­duce to be kept to a min­i­mum level,” the ten­der said.

Meat or fish must also be “first qual­ity”, beef must con­tain less than 10 per cent fat and diced lamb must have min­i­mum gris­tle.

Of­fend­ers have pre­vi­ously whinged about their tax­payer­funded tucker. They have also been bribed with pizza, cakes and Tim Tams to curb bad be­hav­iour.

Un­der the new three-year con­tract, to run from July 2018, most won’t have to lift a finger.

Op­po­si­tion spokes­woman for fam­i­lies and chil­dren Ge­orgie Crozier said the gov­ern­ment needed to “har­den up”.

“Many Vic­to­rian fam­i­lies would love to be able to af­ford this sort of choice and qual­ity of food each week. Youth jus­tice prisons should not be run as sum­mer camps,” she said.

But Fam­i­lies and Chil­dren Min­is­ter Jenny Mikakos said the new ca­ter­ing con­tract was based on guide­lines set up by the “hyp­o­crit­i­cal for­mer Lib­eral gov­ern­ment”.

A De­part­ment of Jus­tice spokes­woman said the strict ca­ter­ing guide­lines were based on the pre­vi­ous 2012 ten­der.

“The re­quire­ments re­flect na­tional guide­lines.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.