Five-star food for youth inmates
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.”