My de­li­cious din­ner — be­hind bars

Daily Mail - - Sarah Vine -

ONE of the high­lights of my hus­band’s ten­ure at the De­part­ment of Jus­tice was a lunch at The Clink res­tau­rant in Brix­ton Prison.

It’s not the swish­est of venues and, if I re­mem­ber rightly the cut­lery was plas­tic. But once past the se­cu­rity bars and buzzers, the place felt much like any other trendy res­tau­rant — with one ex­cep­tion: all the staff were in­mates.

I was hugely im­pressed by the qual­ity of the cook­ing. And now three out of the four Clink restau­rants — in Cheshire, Cardiff and Sur­rey — have been rated top in their area on TripAd­vi­sor, while the one at Brix­ton Prison now ranks third out of 18,162 in Lon­don.

In some ways, the food isn’t the point of The Clink. The point is pro­vid­ing a pro­gramme of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion that gives pris­on­ers real skills with real value in the out­side world. Prison should be about more than just por­ridge: The Clink is proof it’s pos­si­ble.

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