Por­ridge with len­tils? Ve­gan cafe... in a jail

Scottish Daily Mail - - Life -

IT IS not a place you would usu­ally as­so­ci­ate with fine din­ing.

But in­mates at one of Scot­land’s tough­est pris­ons have been given per­mis­sion to open a ve­gan restau­rant.

The Yew Tree café and bistro, in the grounds of Perth Prison, will em­ploy around 30 staff, made up of cur­rent prison­ers and ex-of­fend­ers, op­er­at­ing as a café dur­ing the day and a fine din­ing restau­rant in the evening.

The project, by char­ity Start­ing Step, was given the green light by Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil last week.

Start­ing Step chief Dodie Pid­dock said: ‘The point is it gets peo­ple with a con­vic­tion out there and gets them jobs. It will per­haps erad­i­cate some of the stigma at­tached to peo­ple who per­haps made a mis­take in their lives.’

Tory jus­tice spokesman Liam Kerr said: ‘Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and en­sur­ing prison­ers are en­cour­aged to learn new skills are es­sen­tial parts of the jus­tice sys­tem.

‘If this is to go ahead, vic­tims will ex­pect the jail to pro­vide real ev­i­dence that this isn’t just giv­ing in­mates some­thing to do, but is con­tribut­ing to their re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion for when they leave.’

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